Carmelo down to Knicks, Bulls

Updated: July 12, 2014, 4:57 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Carmelo Anthony has narrowed his options to the New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls, and is no longer considering the Los Angeles Lakers, sources told ESPN's Stephen A. Smith.

Knicks president Phil Jackson said Thursday that he hadn't heard from Anthony in recent days but remained confident the All-Star forward would re-sign with the Knicks. Jackson said the Knicks have made five different contract offers to Anthony, one of which is believed to be a maximum deal of $129 million over five years.

Knicks coach Derek Fisher seems to be on the same page as Jackson.

"I haven't heard anything different than that," Fisher said Friday after the Knicks started Las Vegas Summer League play with a 76-64 victory over the Dallas Mavericks. "We talked all this week about the fact that it's not our decision."

The first-time coach stressed that point.

"Decisions as free agents are never as easy as they seem," he said. "A lot of focus is on the contract size or the amount of money and the years, but oftentimes, guys are thinking on a much larger level.

"It's not just about basketball. Guys have wives, families, kids. Moving is tough."

The Bulls can offer Anthony a contract starting at approximately $17 million. That number can increase if the Bulls acquire Anthony in a sign-and-trade.

However, sources told ESPN.com's Marc Stein late Friday that the Bulls were prioritizing their pursuit of free agent forward Pau Gasol even ahead of their long-running efforts to sign Anthony, fearing that Anthony is likely to stay with the Knicks. Gasol and the Bulls are closing in on a deal, according to the Spanish newspaper Marca and other media reports.

The Knicks, whose maximum offer to Anthony would have a first-year salary of $22.5 million, hadn't shown any interest in participating in a sign-and-trade with Chicago as of late Friday night.

As of Friday afternoon, the Lakers had yet to be informed they were out of the running for Anthony, a league source told ESPNLosAngeles.com's Dave McMenamin.

Anthony's agent, Leon Rose, told ESPN.com on Wednesday afternoon that his client "hasn't made a decision yet."

Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Ian Begley and ESPNNewYork.com contributor Fred Katz and was used in this report.

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