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Fantasy Spin: 2018 NBA Mock Draft (Part 2)


In the first part of this mock draft, I looked in depth at the (possible) top five picks in this year's NBA Draft. In this one, we'll look at the rest of this year's lottery, picks six through 14. These players don't have the same star power and high expectations that the top five picks had, but they're still being counted on to be major pieces that help out rebuilding and non-playoff teams.

There's fantasy value to be found in this range, but there's also some fools gold waiting for you as well.

And don't forget to stick around for part three, coming soon with a look at the rest of the first round.

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2018 NBA Mock Draft: Round 1 - Picks 6 through 14

6. Orlando Magic: Trae Young (G, Oklahoma)

I don't need many words here. According to Cleaning The Glass, Young hit 40 percent of his pull-up threes from inside 30 feet. If he recognizes that he is not Stephen Curry and doesn't fire up wild shots from really far behind the line, then he'll be an elite three point shooter in the NBA. The Magic need guards and Young would instantly be their best outside weapon and their best distributor. He's going to have a huge fantasy impact during his rookie year.

7. Chicago Bulls: Michael Porter Jr. (F, Missouri)

The Bulls have just two or three pieces that have a future on the team -- Lauri Markkanen, Kris Dunn, and Zach LaVine -- and they aren't in a draft position to get a future star without taking a big risk. That risk? Picking Porter Jr., who missed most of last season at Missouri with a back injury. He was being talked about as a top three pick before the injury, but there are lots of questions about what he'll be in the NBA now.

A fully healthy Porter? His fit with Markkanen isn't perfect, but he's able to create his shot, can hit pull-up jumpers, and has three point range. While there are definite defensive concerns, Porter landing in Chicago, where competition for the small forward job includes...uhh, Denzel Valentine?...would be great from a fantasy perspective. (That is, if Porter is fully healed and can be the player he looked like pre-injury. There's a ton of risk there, but I think it's probably worth it.)

8. Cleveland Cavaliers: Wendell Carter (C, Duke)

I think Cleveland could go any number of ways here because so much depends on LeBron James. If James leaves and the Cavaliers explore a Kevin Love trade (the scenario I foresee when I mocked them Carter), Carter becomes the front court player of both the future and the present in Cleveland. If LeBron gives them serious indications that he's coming back, then Cleveland might try to go with a wing player -- one of the Bridges?

So, let's get really theoretical here. Carter to Cleveland in a post-LeBron world. If the Cavaliers go into full rebuild mode, is Carter someone they can build around? He should be able to defend in the post and have an offensive game that extends out to the mid-range and, potentially, beyond. But I'm going to hold off on making any proclamations about his fantasy value, because so much depends on what Cleveland does with all the veterans on this team. Long term, I like Carter's value, but from a strictly re-draft perspective -- I don't know. Will the team try to move both Love and Tristan Thompson? Is Larry Nance Jr. in their future plans? Does any other team have as much uncertainty heading into draft season and free agency?

9. New York Knicks: Mikal Bridges (F, Villanova)

The consensus opinion on Mikal Bridges seems to be "he's a can't miss prospect!...but he also has a lower ceiling than a lot of the other guys in this draft," which...yeah. The Knicks have one star player already in Kristaps Porzingis, they have a young point guard who could be very good in Frank Ntilikina, and while they could use another player with star potential, it might be a smart move to go with the guy who can be a key role player for years to come.

Bridges can be a great three-and-D guy in the NBA. In New York, he'd likely get a chance to start alongside Tim Hardaway Jr. out on the wing. Bridges projects to be a safe fantasy pick for players looking to add depth.

10. Philadelphia 76ers: Miles Bridges (F, Michigan State)

The other Bridges, Michigan State's Miles Bridges -- no relation -- isn't exactly who the 76ers would be hoping to see at 10 (I think Mikal Bridges fits better), but he's got a ton of potential. He can finish. He can defend. He's probably better suited to play the four at the NBA because his shot and playmaking skills aren't necessarily what you want out on the wing.

Bridges's fantasy value is hard to figure out in Philly. As the roster is currently constructed, he'd likely back up Dario Saric, but the 76ers have some interesting free agency decisions to make which could affect his value. If the team brings in a star on the wing, we'd see more of Robert Covington at the four, a position he played at extensively a couple of seasons ago. In that case, Bridges rookie year value isn't up there with some of the other players in the draft.

11. Charlotte Hornets: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (G, Kentucky)

There would be concerns about SGA's fit on a team that already has Kemba Walker, but with rumors swirling since last season that Walker's days in Charlotte are numbered and Gilgeous-Alexander's upside, he would be a good pick who can play some at the two right now and transition into the point guard role in the future. He's a good pick-and-roll ball handler and a gifted passer, but there will be concerns about his shooting. In the macro sense, he's one of my favorite players in this range in the draft, but if we're talking just from a fantasy re-draft position...ehh.

12. Los Angeles Clippers: Collin Sexton (G, Alabama)

There's a large contingent of NBA Twitter that is firmly in the "Sexton isn't that good" camp. We don't really know if he can play off the ball and his shooting numbers weren't at the same level as a lot of other guards in this draft class. He can get to the rim and he's athletic enough to become a capable defender in the league, but I don't love him as a fantasy option this season. He makes sense for the Clippers, who have questions at the point guard position long term with Patrick Beverley and Milos Teodosic, who are a little old for the rebuilding project that the Clippers are about to morph into.

13. Los Angeles Clippers: Kevin Knox (F, Kentucky)

Good shooting form. Ability to play the four, which is important for a team that moved on from Blake Griffin and likely wants to bring in someone with more upside than Tobias Harris and Danilo Gallinari. Knox will need some work -- either improvement on his shot if the team wants to use him on the wing or improvement on the defensive side if he slides down to the four. Either way, lots of upside but very, very far from a safe fantasy option.

14. Denver Nuggets: Zhaire Smith (G, Texas Tech)

The Nuggets are a hard team to figure out. Are they a rising squad led by Nikola Jokic, Gary Harris, and Jamal Murrray? Are they going to cap out around a six seed with this current core? Is there a path toward them contending for a title after the Warriors are done doing their thing?

Right now, what seems like the best course of action for Denver is to maximize what they have going. What will help them do that? Adding in a good defensive wing to a team in need of defense! Smith can do that. He'll guard opposing team's best guys on the perimeter and should be able to knock down open shots. He can be a fantasy sleeper, especially if you want someone who can get you defensive stats, but he seems like a player who'll have more real life value than fantasy value.

There's also the fact that Smith is a phenomenal athlete. If his shot continues to develop, he's going to have a ton of dynasty value.

That's it for the lottery picks! Stay tuned for the rest of this year's first round mock draft.

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