Carmelo Anthony's draft philosophy is simple and precise: draft the best available player from Baltimore.

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Anthony has made it clear to the Knicks that he'd love for the club to draft one of his Baltimore pals, Josh Selby, a 6-3 combo guard out of Kansas. Selby is all but certain to be available when the Knicks, who own the 17thpick in Thursday's NBA draft, make their selection.

The question is whether the Knicks will take a chance on Selby at 17 or trade for a late first-round pick or a second-rounder with the hope that Selby would still be available. Six years ago, the Knicks were in a similar predicament and debated whether to take a chance on a high school guard out of Mississippi. In the end, they passed on Monta Ellis and instead selected Channing Frye and David Lee in the first round and traded for another first-round pick, Nate Robinson. Ellis ended up being the 40th pick, by Golden State.

Selby has had two workouts with the Knicks and will be in Detroit Wednesday to work out for the Pistons, who own the eighth and 33rd picks.

The Knicks appear to be leaning toward drafting a guard, but the two players they covet most, BYU's Jimmer Fredette and Washington State's Klay Thompson, are projected to be lottery picks. A trade to move up is possible but not likely.

Providence guard Marshon Brooks and Georgia Tech guard Iman Shumpert are two players who should be available at 17. The Knicks are also looking at USC center Nikola Vucevic, who is from Montenegro. However, with last year's second-round pick, 7-footer Jerome Jordan, likely to join the Knicks this season, it doesn't make much sense to draft another young center.

The Knicks need backcourt help, especially with Toney Douglas having major shoulder surgery last month. Also, incumbent starting shooting guard Landry Fields scored just seven points in four playoff games - all losses to the Celtics.

Selby played just one season for the Jayhawks. Coming out of high school, he was rated by some scouting services as the second-best player behind Duke's Kyrie Irving, who is expected to be the top pick Thursday.

The Cleveland Cavaliers own that pick and have made it known that Irving is their guy. Meanwhile, Anthony has already weighed in with his endorsement. For Selby, that's not a bad thing.

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