We keep chugging along with picks seven through nine in our official At the Hive writers mock draft. Things are mostly going by the book so far.
7. Chicago Bulls: Wendell Carter
Dylan Jackson- Wendell Carter would be a perfect fit with the Chicago Bulls. Sure, he isn’t going to put up monster stats, but at the end of the day, Carter has a positive impact on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Carter paired with Markkanen would certainly be a great frontcourt duo moving forward.
Wendell Carter has one of the highest floors in this draft and should be considered a safe pick. However, the Chicago Bulls have been known to select four-year players, so it wouldn’t be much of a shock to see them select Mikal Bridges. All in all, this would be one of the best fits in the draft.
8. Cleveland Cavaliers: Michael Porter Jr.
Nick Denning - Porter Jr.’s stock is all over the place. He’s an undeniable talent, but a serious back injury sheds doubt as to whether he can realize it. For Cleveland, however, the choice may be simple, who are, let’s be honest, probably losing LeBron James this summer. Of all the players remaining, Porter Jr.’s potential is the highest, which makes him the type of pick worth gambling if you’re a team like Cleveland staring a rebuild in the face. However, realizing his potential depends on whether he can fully recover from back surgery.
When healthy, Porter Jr. is dangerous on the offensive end. He uses his 6’10 size and seven-foot wingspan to take defenders off the dribble and finish strongly at the rim. He dominated the FIBA U18 tournament in 2016, averaging 16 points per game. His return to the Missouri lineup following surgery wasn’t great, but it was clear — and understandable — that he wasn’t 100 percent yet.
But give Porter Jr. time, and he could develop into one of the best players from this draft. His back could ultimately prevent him from doing so, but the risk is worth it for Cleveland with the eighth overall pick.
9. New York Knicks: Mikal Bridges
Stephen Sears - Mikal Bridges is an almost perfect fit to this current New York Knicks team. At 6 foot 7, 21 years old, Bridges is quite possibly the best plug and play 3 and D player in this draft. Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis needs a player who can shoot from outside the perimeter effectively and play solid defense on the outside, and Bridges is just that.
During his 2017-18 junior season, Bridges showed out and recorded an impressive stat line of 17.7 points per game, 5.3 rebounds, while shooting 51% from the field and 43% from three. Bridges would be the perfect addition inbetween Porzingis and last years number 8 pick, Frank Ntilikina, who the Knicks seem to see as their point guard of the future.
A safe pick for a shifty franchise.