Studs: Gerald Wallace
Duds: Tyson Chandler
The Charlotte Bobcats are a tricky team to assess – they’re always dealing with injuries, and with a new (injury-prone) center and a new style of play set to be integrated into its offense, the Bobcats are somewhat of a mystery.
An offense with more emphasis on running should boost most of the players’ productivity on a team that seems fit for a faster pace. This bodes especially well for Wallace, Raymond Felton, D.J. Augustin and Raja Bell, who will surely welcome anything that resembles the Phoenix Suns offense that made him so valuable a few years ago (so long as he remains on board). Boris Diaw is the keystone in this plan and his recovery from an ankle injury serves as a reminder of how vulnerable to injuries this team’s success is.
Felton signed a one-year contract in the summer so he’ll be out for his next contract, but look for Augustin to give him a good fight at the point guard position this year. The recent signing of Flip Murray should also mix things up in the backcourt, though Murray shouldn’t make too much of a dent in anyone’s value. If one of the guards goes down, you can count on Murray becoming a hot waiver wire pickup.
Chandler, who still hasn’t been cleared for five-on-five play because of his recovery from off-season ankle surgery, should not be counted on for consistent production this season. He’s likely to sit out a handful of games due to injuries, so expect Nazr Mohammed and DeSagana Diop to offer fleeting flashes of value in rebounds and blocks.
Rookie Derrick Brown could offer some value if the Bobcats don’t find a veteran power forward to back up Diaw before the season opener.
Relevant fantasy players and projected per-game stats:
PG: Raymond Felton (14.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 1.5 steals)
SG: Raja Bell (12.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.5 threes)
SF: Gerald Wallace (19.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2 steals, 1 block)
PF: Boris Diaw (16 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5 assists)
C: Tyson Chandler (9 points, 8 rebounds, 1 block)
Bench: D.J. Augustin (12 points, 2.5 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 threes), Flip Murray (11 points, 3 assists, 1.5 threes)