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Knicks want Perkins, could deal Mark Jackson

ATLANTA - The New York Knicks have expressed an interest in acquiring forward Sam Perkins from the Dallas Mavericks, and will initiate intense discussions before the Feb. 22 trading deadline, Knicks sources said late Tuesday night. A deal for the 6-foot-9, 257-pound Perkins, a native of the Brooklyn borough of New York, would send either guard Rod Strickland or guard Mark Jackson and forward Johnny Newman to the Mavericks. "We have enough depth on our team to satisfy Dallas," the Knicks' source said.

A Mavericks source said: "New York called, as other teams have, and the Knicks will call again as the deadline nears."

The teams have not talked recently, but the source said between today and the trading deadline there will be further discussions.

Perkins' agent, Lee Fentress of Washington, took a flight into Dallas on Tuesday night.

"The Knicks are another NBA team, but it's a little different for me because I'm from there," Perkins said Tuesday night. "I wouldn't mind it at all. My family would love it." Perkins' mother and sister live in Brooklyn, and he has many cousins in Brooklyn and the Bronx. "Tickets will be one thing we'll have to take into consideration," he joked.

The 28-year-old Perkins, a tough low-post scorer with an adequate jump shot, would fit in nicely with Patrick Ewing and Charles Oakley.

A quick, tough defender, Perkins would give coach Stu Jackson more versatility up front.

- Information from Newsday was used in this report.