Mark Cuban: Nuggets better minus Melo

Updated: March 11, 2011, 2:29 AM ET
By Tim MacMahon | ESPNDallas.com

DALLAS -- The Denver Nuggets "hit a home run" with the Carmelo Anthony trade, Mark Cuban said before his Dallas Mavericks faced the All-Star forward's new team, the New York Knicks, on Thursday night.

Cuban's comments weren't a knock against Anthony, a player whom Cuban acknowledged the Mavs were interested in while he was on the trade market.

"I think the Knicks probably are better, but I think Denver is much better," Cuban said Thursday night. "I just think they're deeper, they're more aggressive, they've just got a chip on their shoulder now. Their inexperience might hurt them in the playoffs, but I think they're a better team."

After months of talks, fueled by Anthony's refusal to sign a contract extension with the Nuggets, Denver dealt him to the Knicks on Feb. 21 in a three-team deal that also included the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Nuggets, who also gave up point guard Chauncey Billups and three rarely used reserves, received forwards Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari, point guard Raymond Felton and centers Timofey Mozgov and Kosta Koufos in the trade. New York also sent Denver the Knicks' first-round draft pick in 2014, a pair of second-round picks in 2012 and 2013, and cash considerations.

The Nuggets, who were 32-25 when they made the trade, are 6-2 with their new cast after Thursday night's rout of the Phoenix Suns.

"I'm pretty sure that Cuban's happy that I'm out of the West," Anthony said after scoring 18 points on 5-of-15 shooting against the Mavericks. "I'm pretty sure if I'd have came here, he'd have gotten the better end of the deal."

Tim MacMahon covers the Mavericks for ESPNDallas.com.

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