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Friday, January 22, 2010
Mavs interested in deal for Kings' Martin

By Marc Stein

The Sacramento Kings continue to insist that Kevin Martin is not going to be made available to interested teams before the Feb. 18 trading deadline.

The Mavericks, according to NBA front-office sources, continue to tell the Kings that they want a call back if that stance changes.

Sources close to the situation told ESPN.com that Dallas -- reluctant until recently to make Josh Howard available in trade discussions -- is prepared to part with the struggling former All-Star swingman in a deal for Martin.

Kevin Martin
Kevin Martin
The Kings, though, have been telling teams that they are not ready to field offers for Martin, determined to give his fledging backcourt partnership with hot-shot rookie Tyreke Evans an extended period of evaluation.

If that position changes between now and the Feb. 18 trading deadline, Dallas is expected to be one of the league's most determined Martin suitors.

The Sacramento Bee's Sam Amick recently listed Houston, Toronto, Cleveland and Phoenix as teams tracking Martin along with Dallas.

It remains to be seen whether the Kings will bow to that interest in the next few weeks or if they’ll become more open to the idea of trading Martin if they hear that they can also shed another one of their long-term contracts -- such as Andres Nocioni or Beno Udrih -- in the process.

One hypothetical trade scenario could see Dallas offer Howard, Drew Gooden, J.J. Barea and cash to the Kings for Martin and Nocioni. That, however, is a lot of long-term salary for the Mavs to add. It's also not known if a combination of payroll relief, Barea and the opportunity to resurrect Howard's career would ultimately be enough to satisfy Sacramento even if Dallas was willing to take on Nocioni as well.

Such a swap, though, would raise the possibility of the Mavs reacquiring Gooden. If the Kings waived him immediately, Gooden could re-sign with Dallas as long as he waited 30 days after his release instead of signing elsewhere, just as Antonio McDyess did last season with Detroit.

 
UPDATE: One source close to the situation said Friday that the Mavs would have no interest in a Martin deal if the Kings insisted they take on an additional player with a long-term contract such as Nocioni or Udrih.

It's believed that the Mavericks could also join the bidding for Philadelphia's Andre Iguodala and Washington's Caron Butler by putting Howard and his cap-friendly contract (next season's $11.8 million salary is a team option) on the table.

But there is some sentiment within the organization to keep Howard along with Erick Dampier (whose $13.1 million salary next season is fully unguaranteed) for the rest of this season, preserving them as a combo-pack of assets for an offseason trade splash.