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Daryl Morey wants to bring ‘Melo to Houston. He just can’t talk about it.

Jan 21, 2011, 12:48 PM EDT

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With the Nets out of the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes — if they really are out — the conventional wisdom is the Knicks jump to the front of the line. That may be true, the Nuggets seem likely to have conversations with them.

But if the Nuggets are willing to consider a “rent-a-‘Melo” deal, GM Daryl Morey of the Houston Rockets would love to talk.

Well, talk to the Nuggets. The guys at KILT Radio in Houston (via Sports Radio Interviews) tried to talk to him about this and Morey had to dance around the questions because for some reason he didn’t want to get fined for tampering by David Stern. But the feeling was clear.

“It was interesting how that whole recent episode (with the Nets), how it turned out. I do think that puts us into the game there a little bit. … We’re always trying to upgrade the team and I think [that] worked in our favor a little bit.”

The Rockets package would likely involve the expiring contract of Yao Ming (plus others like Shane Battier), a young player or two such as Jordan Hill or Chase Budinger, plus some picks.

The hosts then tried another tactic, phrasing a trade question in chess terms: Does he think it’s worth it to give up two bishops, two rooks and a couple of pawns for a queen?

“I think running gambits is probably a good thing for the franchise situation where we’re at right now.”

Morey added there is a lot of trade talk out there right now.

“There’s tons of trade talk. Usually the deals that are done by the deadline are usually starting to be talked about now. Just the nature of the NBA, we have it very good with Mr. Alexander in terms of having one owner who’s willing to spend money, who’s willing to do anything for the franchise. Other teams, they have multiple owners and often multiple decision-makers besides the owners so it’s hard to get things done unless they’re talked about for a while.”

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