Dallas Mavericks

Chandler, Felton hope Mavericks can obtain Stoudemire

The Dallas Mavericks have emerged as the most likely team to sign Amar’e Stoudemire if he agrees to a buyout from the New York Knicks and becomes a free agent, a source said.

Two of Stoudemire’s former teammates who are now members of the Mavs are on board with the possible acquisition.

Center Tyson Chandler was a teammate of Stoudemire’s with the Knicks the past three seasons and would like to be reunited with the six-time All-Star.

“I’m not going to dig into it until it’s a real possibility,” Chandler said. “But Amar’e is a great player, a great finisher.

“He provides leadership for a team, he’s incredible in the pick-and-roll, [has a] nice mid-range game and great knack for scoring.”

Stoudemire (6-foot-10 and 245 pounds) is considering taking a buyout, and the 32-year-old could be a backup to both Dirk Nowitzki and Chandler.

Chandler said: “He would fit in great, because we play a lot of pick-and-roll.”

Guard Raymond Felton also is excited about the Mavs’ pursuit of Stoudemire.

“I love him, he’s a good friend, so if he gets the opportunity to come play here he’ll definitely help us for sure,” said Felton, who played the past two seasons with the Knicks. “He’s a great talent, big guy that can really post up.”

Donnie Nelson, the Mavs’ president of basketball operations, couldn’t delve into the team’s interest in Stoudemire because of rules pertaining to the collective bargaining agreement. However, it’s no secret that the Mavs are searching for another big man.

“I really can’t comment on another person’s player at this point, but there’s a lot of things that have to happen in order for that to come to fruition,” Nelson said. “But there’s no question that we’re looking for someone that is a veteran and knows how to win playoff games and can give us a little meat in our front line, a little beef to throw around, set picks and rebounds.”

Another candidate the Mavs are looking at to help shore up their front line is free agent Jermaine O’Neal, who lives in Southlake. O’Neal has a solid relationship with Mavs coach Rick Carlisle, who coached him from 2003-2007 while the two were with the Indiana Pacers.

“He would pretty much fit the description, and obviously we’ve got a great relationship there and vice versa,” Nelson said of the 36-year-old O’Neal. “But it’s got to be right.”

Cuban backs Paul

Owner Mark Cuban said he didn’t think gender played a role in the controversial comments Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul made after Thursday’s game against Cleveland.

The NBA fined Paul $25,000 for, in part, publicly criticizing referee Lauren Holtkamp and saying: “If that’s the case, this might not be for her’’ after she tagged him with a technical foul.

Of the comments by Paul, Cuban asked: “Would it have been better if he said ‘Maybe it’s not for him?’ I’d be kind of hypocritical if I judged somebody who made a comment in the heat of the moment about officiating, so I’m not going to judge the message he was trying to communicate.

“I’m just glad someone else is getting fined about the refs other than me.”

Dwain Price, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @dwainprice

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