Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NBA [Print without images]

Thursday, February 3, 2011
Mark Cuban OK with rent-a-player

ESPNDallas.com

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban hasn't abadoned hope of trying to acquire All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony from the Denver Nuggets before the Feb. 24 trading deadline.

Reiterating comments he's made at various points over the past two months, Cuban told the New York Post that he's willing to rent a player -- not naming Anthony for fear of a league fine -- to put them over the top.

"Yeah, in a heartbeat. Because then it's up to me to try to convince them to stay," Cuban said Wednesday before the Mavs' game against the Knicks. "If everybody wants to give off a great player, we're always going to try to be opportunistic. But those calls typically aren't made. Those happen once every five years or so.

"I can't talk about other teams' players, but I'm always trying to be opportunistic. If someone wanted to offer me a perennial All-Star for a second-round pick, I'm going to say yes."

A deal between the Nuggets and New Jersey Nets for Anthony fell through last week, but the Knicks have been mentioned as a team highly interested in landing the forward. The Houston Rockets have come up as a team also willing to roll the dice on Anthony for the rest of the season.

Anthony is currently ninth in the league in scoring at 23.8 points per game, one spot ahead of Dirk Nowitzki (23.2). The Mavs have had a hole at small forward since Caron Butler was lost for the season with a knee injury. Brian Cardinal started at forward opposite Nowitzki on Wednesday, but played only 10 minutes and had three points and no rebounds.

The Mavericks recently signed Peja Stojakovic after he was released by the Raptors. He's been rehabbing a knee injury and hopes to return to the court Monday.

Meanwhile, Cuban jokingly said he's fine with the turmoil the Melo drama is creating for the Nuggets, who are currently sixth in the West.

"I feel bad for [new Nuggets owner] Josh Kroenke," Cuban said, according to the Post. "He just comes in to take over and all of a sudden he has to deal with all this. He'll figure it out. Anything that distracts other teams in our conference, that's good. I want every player and every other team to revolt."