Sacramento reluctant to give up Martin

Updated: January 22, 2010, 1:49 PM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com

The Dallas Mavericks, according to NBA front-office sources, continue to tell the Sacramento Kings that they're interested in Kevin Martin if they're willing to trade the guard before the Feb. 18 trading deadline.

The Kings continue to insist that Martin is not going to be made available to interested teams before the deadline, but the Mavericks, according to the source, 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.

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 deadline, Dallas is expected to be one of the league's most determined suitors for the 6-foot-7 Martin, who is averaging 25.2 points and 4.9 rebounds per game this season.

The Houston Rockets, Toronto Raptors, Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns also are reportedly tracking Martin.

Howard, who has spent much of the season rehabilitating his surgically repaired left ankle, has missed 21 of the Mavericks' 42 games this season. He is averaging 12.5 points per game.

Marc Stein | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com
• Senior NBA writer for ESPN.com
• Began covering the NBA in 1993-94
• Also covered soccer, tennis and the Olympics

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