Woody: Fingers crossed for Melo's return

We can all guess and make assumptions, but only Carmelo Anthony truly knows how this awful New York Knicks season will impact his approach to free agency.

For what it's worth, Mike Woodson thinks the Knicks will have a better chance to re-sign Anthony if they make the postseason.

"It would sure make it a lot better if we're able to get into the playoffs," Woodson in an interview Friday on ESPN 98.7 FM's "The Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco Show."

"I think at the end of the day Melo will make the right decision. What that decision is going to be, I don't know. But I'd like to think that, being his coach, and being around him the last three years, that he'll stay in New York. That's where we want him to stay, that's where I would like to see him. I'm a big Knick fan, I want him to stay in New York, it would be nice."

The Knicks are 5 1/2 games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Saturday's loss to Atlanta left them a season-high 14 games under .500.

Anthony seems more and more resigned that the season is a lost cause after each successive defeat.

It's worth noting, though, that the Knicks can sign Anthony to a max contract worth $129 million over five years. If Anthony signs with another team, the maximum contract he can ink is a four-year pact for $96 million.

Anthony has said that his "first priority" is to sign with the Knicks, but he'd like to sit down with the team's ownership and front office to learn more about their plans to build a championship contender in New York.

The star forward has also said he'd take less money -- to stay with the Knicks or go to another franchise -- if it gave them more cap space to sign other free agents.