So it’s on to Plan B for the Bulls.

According to the Daily News, Carmelo Anthony will return to New York to play for the Knicks. The paper quoted a person close to the seven-time All-Star, insisting that the influence of new team president Phil Jackson, as well as the comfort of his family, were deciding factors in why he chose to stay put, rather than signing with the Bulls or the Los Angeles Lakers.

“He will have something for everybody on Thursday,” the friend told the Daily News. “He is really torn because this is the biggest decision of his career. But he wants to get it done in New York. He told me he believes in Phil.’’

Thursday is the first day that players can move past the verbal agreement stage of free agency and sign their contracts, and Anthony is believed to be inking his name to the max deal New York could offer – $129 million over five years.

The Los Angeles Lakers were offering a four-year max contract for $96 million, while a source said the Bulls were four years, $75 million, with a player option for the final season.

Email: jcowley@suntimes.com

Twitter: @suntimes_hoops