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With the lockout likely to linger well into October and perhaps into November, trying to preview the season of 30 teams that might not actually have one seems about as worthwhile as raking leaves on a windy day. But I love raking and the wind only makes it last longer. We here at Razzball have you covered, even if you didn’t want to be covered. That’s love. You’ll appreciate it when you’re older. Look at it this way, the only way any of this stuff can be disproven is if the season starts. So go ahead, NBA, make me a fibber! I dare you. Until then, consider this fantasy basketball gospel. Don’t even bother reading anything else – dem’s all lies. From now until the start of the season, we’re bringing you the 2011 Fantasy Team Previews, which will focus on each team in order to paint a clearer fantasy picture. Who’s starting? Who might surprise you? And who might make you want to hurl yourself off a bridge in a few months. Enjoy! Next up – The Charlotte Bobcats (or the Robertcats if they’re trying to sound fancy).

Gained – Corey Maggette, Kemba Walker, Bismack Biyombo (probably)

Lost – Stephen Jackson, all hope at ever scoring over 70 points a game, the possibility of drawing more than 8,000 fans

Probable position depth -
PG – D.J. Augustin, Kemba Walker, Sherron Collins
SG – Gerald Henderson, Matt Carroll, Garrett Temple
SF – Corey Maggette, Dante Cunningham, Dominic Maguire
PF – Boris Diaw, Tyrus Thomas, Bismack Biyombo, D.J. White, Eduardo Najera
C –    Kwame Brown, Joel Przybilla, DaSagana Diop

Surprising Team Fact From Last Season – The Bobcats didn’t average the fewest points per game NBA teams. That distinction goes to the Milwaukee Bucks, out of whom I’m convinced Jordan scared the bejesus when he realized his team might average a lowly 93.3 points per game (the franchise’s worst in its seven seasons).

Number of Top 20 Fantasy Players   (par 0-1)0
Number of Top 50 Fantasy Players   (par 1-2)0
Number of Top 75 Fantasy Players    (par 2-3)1, Augustin
Number of Top 100 Fantasy Players
(par 3-4) 0
Number of Top 200 Fantasy Players (par 6-7) – 7, Henderson, Maggette, Thomas, Diaw, Walker, Biyombo

3 Concerns Heading Into the Season

1. Is it cool if I just completely ignore this team come draft day? ‘Cause I really wanna just ignore this team on draft day.
As long as every NBA team still employs NBA players, it’s not advisable to ignore any roster outright. That said, if you’re considering a Bobcat anywhere before the first 70 picks, throw your notebook out and think of clever fantasy team names because that’s about the only way your team’s getting noticed otherwise. This team is full of guys that could kinda, sorta make a difference to your fantasy team is you squint a little and do a couple shots of Wild Turkey first. Boris Diaw could be the multi-tooled backup big that he showed in flashes last year (and throughout his career). Kemba Walker is agile and could be the steal of this year’s rookie class if given room to maneuver. Maggette has the ability to take over games, get to the line, shoot at an efficient clip. Tyrus, Kwame, Bismack; they all could produce if the stars align just right and no one sneezes, or talks while they’re dribbling, or watches them at all, really (this might actually happen). Come draft day, you don’t want to squint at the guy you’re about to pick up. You want to send him over a drink and stare at him until he’s uncomfortable and leaves. Or whatever.

2. Do Geralds thrive on Charlotte rosters? Should we investigate this?
Gerald Wallace is gone, leaving room for Gerald Henderson’s 10/3/2 (16/5/4 in his final eight games, which should leave you with only two questions: 1) How would Gerald Greene do on this squad? (answer: Gerald Greene-y), 2) Who’s naming their kid Gerald still? (answer: Parents who love their kids less than the ones naming their offspring “Dirk.”) Bonus question: Who is most likely to be the most ownable fantasy option on the Cats other than Augustin? (answer: if you don’t know or somehow answered Gerald Greene, go back and read this entire paragraph again.)

3. For reals, when will it ever be T-Time?
We’ve been practicing this for a few years now, so you should all be quite accustomed to the chorus. Line up, shoulder to shoulder, stand up straight, and please say it with me: “If Thomas will ever be impactful, it will be this year.” Good. A little pitchy, dawg, but still pretty solid. I had completely given up on Thomas last season. I put him on my draft board, but I was never actually going to draft him. I got burned drafting him in 2009 and vowed never to do it again. But here’s the thing, he’s still on the Bobcats and the Bobcats’ best player is D.J. Augustin. These are not high times in Charlotte – well, I mean, they are high times, but not the kind that has to do with basketball players … at least not the kind that has to do with basketball players on the court. Thomas was married a couple months ago, which will either straighten his head out or mess it up even more. Either way, it’s never good when the most important aspect of a player rests on the guy’s spouse. Still, I’d be willing to consider Thomas inside the top 120 simply because he’s the third or fourth best player on this team regardless of whether he starts.

Fantasy Disappointment in ’11 –  Tyrus Thomas. I started typing Corey Maggette, and the computer Auto Corrected it to read Thomas. Who am I to argue with technology?

Biggest Fantasy Contributor in ’11 – D.J. Augustin. He was Charlotte’s biggest fantasy contributor last season and now he’s playing on a team without Jax and Crash. Silas has already determined that Augustin and first-round draft pick Kemba Walker will be playing together a lot of the time, and Augustin’s 16 PER came at 23-years-old. His efficiency might go down in 2011, but I’d be surprised if anything else did. Honestly, I’ll take it as a personal slight if Augustin isn’t the first Bobcat picked off your board.

Deep Sleeper – Bismack Biyombo. I mostly just wanted to write his name again. Get used to it.