NBA trade deadline: What each contender needs most to improve their championship odds heading into the second half

Even with the return of Robert Williams to the Celtics' lineup, does Boston still need another player in the frontcourt to shore up depth? Mary Altaffer/AP Photo

What needs should NBA championship contenders look to fill leading into the Feb. 9 trade deadline?

Although midseason deals that truly swing the championship are rare, there is a recent example: The Toronto Raptors added the final piece to their title puzzle in 2019 by acquiring starting center Marc Gasol in February.

Meanwhile, trades or signings that help a contending team take the next step in the playoffs are much more common. Just last year, adding Derrick White at the trade deadline was a factor in the Boston Celtics reaching the NBA Finals, while the 2015 Cleveland Cavaliers made over much of their roster midseason en route to the first of their four consecutive Finals appearances.

This year is unusual because so many teams can plausibly consider themselves contenders. As a result, addressing a key weakness could be the difference between an early playoff exit and hoisting the Larry O'Brien trophy.

With that in mind, let's take a look at the teams among the top 12 in Caesars Sportsbook's NBA title odds and how each could improve via trade or a buyout signing.