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NBA

Knicks optimistic Anthony will stay

– Carmelo Anthony appears committed to re-signing with the Knicks, and it could become official today.

A league source close to the situation said the Knicks are “optimistic” that Anthony will remain with the team he forced a trade to in 2011. He is expected to accept the Knicks’ maximum offer of five years and $129 million today, the first day that teams can sign free agents.

The New York Daily News, citing an unidentified person close to Anthony, said the All-Star small forward believes in team president Phil Jackson and will re-up with the Knicks, barring a last-minute change of heart.

But a league source with ties to Anthony said in a text “no decision yet. Still up in the air.” That could be because the other teams pursuing Anthony haven’t been told they’re out of the running.

The Bulls, Rockets, Lakers and Mavericks made sales pitches to Anthony, but the Lakers and Bulls have been the Knicks’ biggest competition. The Knicks, however, have been the front-runners in the sweepstakes. They can offer the most money and want him to be the focal point of the triangle offense that new coach Derek Fisher will run.

The Knicks are coming off a 37-45 season. But Jackson and Fisher laid out their plan to Anthony for how they will make the Knicks a winner.

They will continue to pursue free-agent big man Pau Gasol. He has a relationship with Jackson, Fisher and point guard Jose Calderon, whose acquisition was an upgrade from Raymond Felton at point guard.

The Knicks have only the $3.2 million taxpayer midlevel exception to offer Gasol at this point. Jackson is trying to open up some money by trading Amar’e Stoudemire or Andrea Bargnani without taking much back in return.

Popovich agrees to stay with Spurs

Gregg Popovich has agreed to a multiyear extension with the San Antonio Spurs.

The Spurs made the announcement Tuesday. The team did not announce the terms of the deal in a two-sentence news release.

Sources: Parsons OKs Mavs’ offer

Dallas made a move at small forward, agreeing with restricted free agent Chandler Parsons on a three-year offer sheet worth more than $45 million. Two people with knowledge of the situation said Parsons agreed to the offer sheet with the Mavericks, while a third person confirmed the terms.

Sterling says he won’t sell team

A raging Donald Sterling denounced his wife, her lawyers and the NBA from the witness stand and said he would never sell the Los Angeles Clippers.

Sterling, his voice rising to a shout in an otherwise quiet courtroom, vowed to spend the rest of his life suing the league.

Sterling said his wife, Shelly, had deceived him, that she was not capable of understanding the family trust, and that he did not authorize her to strike a deal to sell the team.

He was followed to the witness stand by Shelly Sterling, who declared her love for him but says she was convinced he needed to be examined for Alzheimer’s disease.

As she was leaving the witness stand for the day, she tried to approach her husband in the audience. But he shouted, “Get away from me, you pig!”

Around the league

A person close to the situation says restricted free agent Gordon Hayward has agreed to a maximum offer sheet with Charlotte that would pay the former Butler small forward $63 million over the next four years. … The NBA has set the 2014-15 salary cap at $63.1 million, an all-time high.

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