With the lockout likely to linger well into October and perhaps into November, trying to preview the seasons 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 proven wrong is if the season starts. So go ahead, NBA, make me a fibber! I dare you. Until then, here before you is the NBA fantasy gospel. Don’t even bother reading anything else – it’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! First up – The Cleveland Cavaliers (I’m so sorry).
Lost – J.J. Hickson,
Probable position depth –
PG – Baron Davis, Kyrie Irving, Ramon Sessions
SG – Anthony Parker, Daniel Gibson, Manny Harris
SF – Omri Casspi, Alonzo Gee, Christian Eyenga, Joey Graham
PF – Antawn Jamison, Tristan Thompson, Samardo Samuels, Luke Harangody
C – Anderson Varejao, Semih Erden, Ryan Hollins
Surprising Fact From Last Season – The Cavs had the third-highest total attendance last season (824,595 or approximately 20,112 per game), leading me to believe that the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame must be boring as hell.
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, Casspi
Number of Top 100 Fantasy Players (par 3-4) – 0
Number of Top 200 Fantasy Players (par 6-7) – 7, Davis, Irving, Sessions, Jamison, Thompson, Varejao
3 Concerns Heading Into the Season –
1. How can the worst team in basketball get two of the first four picks in the draft and not start either of them?
That’s a good question omnipotent question dude. This becomes an even larger curiosity when you consider that 3/5 of the projected starting lineup ranges between 32 and 36 years old and missed a combined 60 games in 2010. I can buy one of those players making it through the bulk of the season, but not all three (Parker, a free agent, may very well start the season on another team. I know you can’t wait to find out how that one unfolds!) The Cavs probably can’t buy it either, but the problem is, without the three old guys running the show, you have … well, frankly, you have all the kids doing what they could. And 19 wins is all they could. And that’s how bad the Cavaliers are, Jamison, Parker and Davis really are the best options here until any of the young backups can grow up in a hurry.
2. Are Alonzo Gee, Manny Harris, Christian Eyenga and Samardo Samuels all the same person?
Yes. But if you must choose one to draft, go with Alo G or the fifth Ninja Turtle, Samardo.
3. Will the Cavs sorta regret ditching J.J. Hickson or totally regret it?
Look, the Great Casspi laid a ‘West Egg’ last season in Sacramento. He took a decided step back in almost every discernible way (he ended the season with an 11.7 PER – woof!). He just doesn’t look the type to carry a team, not even this one. Well … maybe. No. No, not even this one, but Hickson might have it in him – not the Kings, but perhaps he could have been more of the man in Cleveland than Casspi is going to be. Hickson was showered with minutes and played sloppy with them. His percentages went down while everything else went up. It was his third year and he was only 22. But dude’s got confidence and it’s worth noting that after averaging 12/8 before the All-Star Break, he averaged 17/11. Yes the Kings were one of the most terribly coached and run franchises in the league last year and we should chalk some of Casspi’s slide on that, but Cleveland is no better; may even be worse. Casspi’s got a lot of multi-tool potential and he stands to see a huge uptick in minutes, but it won’t be enough, not to make up for Hickson’s offense, especially when old man Jamison goes down with shingles or rickets or whatever it is that guys that age come down with. And speaking of which …
Fantasy Disappointment in ’10 – Antawn Jamison. He’s 35, missed a third of last season, he’s got Thompson and Samuels breathing down his neck, has seen the bulk of his stats decline three straight years and someone is going to draft him in the sixth round. You watch. Someone is going to mistake Jamison for the leader of this team instead of a retirement age former all-star and grab him four rounds too early. … And that guy will wish he hadn’t.
Biggest Fantasy Contributor in ’10 – Omri Casspi. I was tempted to go with Kyrie. Maybe Varejao. I was even tempted – sadly – to present you with the odd Antawn Jamison-will-both-disappoint-and-be-the-team’s-biggest-contributor enigma. Alas, I’m going with Casspi and hope that you wait until at least the seventh round before going with him yourself.
Deep Sleeper – Tristan Thompson. I dated a Kristan Thompson once. She spelled it that way; with an “a” at the end. It was terrible. She had chin acne and tried to equate everything that happened to her with episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. So, yeah, I’m probably not going to draft him. Also, his name sounds like it belongs to the pudgy fourth grader who somehow got a gig in the mall singing country songs on a 1-foot stage in front of the buffet you visit on weekends.