Print and Go Back ESPN.com: New York Knicks [Print without images]

Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Mavs in market for Melo, Chandler?

By Ian Begley

The Dallas Mavericks may be in the market for two of the biggest names on the Knicks.

Our buddy Marc Stein reports in his "Summer Scoop" series that the Mavs hope to be in the mix for free-agent-to-be Carmelo Anthony this summer.

He also reports that Dallas would be highly interested in trading for Tyson Chandler if the Knicks decide to make Chandler available in the offseason.

First, let's take a look at Carmelo's situation:

The Bulls, Rockets and, to a lesser extent, the Lakers and Clippers are expected to be among a group of teams competing with the Knicks for Anthony's services this summer. Dallas hasn't been mentioned as a front-runner for Anthony at this point, but the Mavs hope to be in the conversation.

Writes Stein: "What you hear is that the Mavs are quietly optimistic they will be on that short list of teams granted a face-to-face visit with the New York Knicks' scoring machine, just as they were with Dwight Howard last summer. The sense in Big D is that Melo will give them a legit look."

Anthony has said that his first priority is to re-sign with the Knicks. He's also said that he wants to go somewhere he can compete for a title. Does Dallas give him the best opportunity to win a championship?

Anthony also said he'd take less money if it meant the team that signs him will have a chance to ink other free agents. Dallas could have the cap space to add another free agent if it signs Melo. But that depends largely on what the Mavs choose to do with their other free agents, including Dirk Nowitzki.

Either way, it seems Mark Cuban will do what he can to lure Anthony away from New York.

Here's what Stein is reporting on a potential trade for Chandler:

"The Mavs intend to be at the front of the line to try to reacquire Tyson Chandler should the Knicks make their defensive anchor available via trade.

"Letting Chandler go remains the most fiercely debated aspect of Cuban's decision to break up the Mavs' championship team, but word is they'll indeed pursue what many will regard as an overdue reunion."

The Knicks had a chance to move Chandler at the 2014 trade deadline, but opted against it. Consistent word from those with knowledge of the team's thinking at the time was that Chandler was off limits, due in part to his relationship with then-team president Steve Mills.

Will Chandler's status as an "untouchable" change now that Phil Jackson is running the show? That's unclear at this point. Dealing Chandler this summer could clear some money from the Knicks' salary cap if the team accepting Chandler has the requisite cap space. Chandler is scheduled to make $14.6 million in 2014-15 -- the final year of his contract.

If the Knicks do choose to move Chandler, they may have more options at the trade deadline. By waiting for the deadline, the Knicks can offer Chandler at a discounted rate because the team accepting Chandler will only be responsible for the remaining portion of his salary.

Question: Do you think the Knicks should explore trading Chandler to the Mavs?

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.