Commentary

Five pretender-to-contender trades

Gasol-to-Atlanta and other deals that will give teams a shot at winning the NBA title

Originally Published: January 31, 2012
By Austin Link | ESPN Insider
Paul GasolDavid Sherman/NBAE/Getty ImagesPau Gasol would be a nice addition to the Hawks' front line.

We are now 20 games into the NBA season, and the Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder have confirmed their status as the league's elite title contenders. None of these teams has proved itself dominant, though, and like last season, the door is open for an unexpected champion.

There are almost a dozen teams that are looking to not just reach the playoffs, but make some noise once they get there. Many of these teams are still a piece away from challenging the top tier of teams.

Here is a look at players who could get some squads off the B-list and earn them full-fledged contender status, and the trades it would take to bring them in.

Note: Included are the current TeamRankings' championship odds for each team.

Atlanta Hawks

Current TR championship odds: 3 percent


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