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The other Carmelo Anthony trade wild card: Mark Cuban

Feb 16, 2011, 12:35 PM EDT

Dallas Mavericks v Denver Nuggets, Game 2 Getty Images

There’s a lot of reasons we like Mark Cuban. He’s smart. He’s not afraid to buck the system. He’s accessible. He’s reasonably forthcoming (certainly in comparison to most owners).

And he’s unpredictable.

That unpredictability is one reason people don’t think the Mavericks are out of the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes. The Mavericks need a wing scorer, ‘Melo is an elite wing scorer, and Cuban has said he would bring “Melo in extension or no.

Alan Hahn at Newsday says that Cuban and the Mavericks could still derail Anthony’s train to New York.

At this point, a source with knowledge of the situation said the biggest — and perhaps last — remaining threat to the Knicks could be the Dallas Mavericks.

Though Mark Cuban hinted recently that he would be willing to trade for a superstar without an extension, the source said Anthony would be amenable to signing an extension with the Mavs, who are already a championship contender and yet have a huge hole at small forward after the injury to Caron Butler.

“The only way Melo doesn’t come to New York is if [Mark] Cuban makes a play,” that source said.

The main issue, however, is that Dallas has even less to offer the Nuggets than the Knicks. The Mavs are searching for a third team to help them, with Roddy Beaubois, who has just returned from injury, as bait. But a source with knowledge of the Mavericks’ thinking said he’d “be shocked if [Carmelo] came” to Dallas, but did say Cuban is unpredictable. But Beaubois, the source said, has been deemed untouchable.

Ahh, the little problem of parts to make the trade work. If I were the Nuggets brass and I could get Beaubois, I’d have to think about it. Yes, they already have Ty Lawson but Beaubois could be the more dynamic player, and either way one of them becomes a nice trade chip. Of course, if Beaubois is untouchable then there is nobody else on that roster I want to rebuild around.

Just something else to watch.

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