Draft prep: Pacific Division Preview

Heading into the start of the NBA preseason, we offer a team-by-team look, including projected starting lineups and what to watch for in October as each team sets their rotations for the start of the regular season on Oct. 28.

Golden State Warriors

Expected Starters: PG C.J. Watson , SG Stephen Jackson , SF Corey Maggette , PF Al Harrington , C Andris Biedrins
What to watch: Marcus Williams vs. C.J. Watson ; Corey Maggette ; Marco Belinelli
Fantasy Analysis: The injury to Monta Ellis that will sideline him for at least the first month of the season will create a real opportunity for someone to step up. C.J. Watson is penciled in as the starter heading into the preseason, but Marcus Williams still has an outside shot of sneaking in. Kelenna Azubuike could step up in a scoring role off the bench like he did at the beginning of last season when Stephen Jackson was out of the mix. New comer Corey Maggette could play a big offensive role as well in the season's first month and it will be interesting to see how he fits in to his new team starting this October. Marco Belinelli could be a sleeper for significant playing time if he can have a productive preseason. He barely played last season, but is a solid shooter who can help fill the scoring void left in the back court by the injury to Ellis and the departure of Baron Davis .

Los Angeles Clippers

Expected Starters: PG Baron Davis , SG Cuttino Mobley , SF Al Thornton , PF Marcus Camby , C Chris Kaman
What to watch: Marcus Camby / Chris Kaman ; Cuttino Mobley vs. Eric Gordon ; Baron Davis
Fantasy Analysis: The Clippers have several new faces in the mix this season and they'll be one of the most interesting teams to watch in the preseason. Starting up front, the relationship on the court between twin towers Chris Kaman and Marcus Camby bears watching. Both were among the league leaders in rebounds last season and it's highly possible they'll cut into each other's rebound totals. For Camby, that could be deadly to his Fantasy appeal since he isn't much of a scorer anyway. In the back court, the battle for the two guard spot between veteran Cuttino Mobley and rookie Eric Gordon will be interesting. Gordon can add some outside scoring, but Mobley can still be an efficient scorer and has the experience advantage going for him. Baron Davis also bears watching in his new surroundings. Many Fantasy owners are understandably tentative about him this season and the preseason could calm some nerves.

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Los Angeles Lakers

Expected Starters: PG Derek Fisher , SG Kobe Bryant , SF Lamar Odom , PF Pau Gasol , C Andrew Bynum
What to watch: Pau Gasol / Andrew Bynum ; Yue Sun
Fantasy Analysis: The Lakers have their starting lineup locked in, but they have some sorting out to do in the front court. Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum will be playing alongside each other for the first time and Lamar Odom will be pushed from power forward to small forward. There should be enough to go around to keep everybody happy, as long as the team is winning as it should. But stats could begin to suffer across the board with so many scoring options to spread things out thin. Last year's Celtics are an example of how so many options on the same team can make a team great on the floor and in the standings, but could diminish production for even elite Fantasy options. On the other side of the spectrum, Sun Yue is worth watching because he could be a sleeper for minutes off the bench. He didn't look very impressive for China at the Beijing Olympics, but has been tabbed as the Chinese Magic. That has to count for something.

Phoenix Suns

Expected Starters: PG Steve Nash , SG Raja Bell , SF Matt Barnes , PF Amar'e Stoudemire , C Shaquille O'Neal
What to watch: Matt Barnes vs. Grant Hill ; Shaquille O'Neal ; Goran Dragic
Fantasy Analysis: The post Mike D'Antoni era will begin in the desert and everyone will start to see GM Steve Kerr's vision of a grind-it-out, half-court team that can withstand the test of a Western Conference playoff run. That could mean big changes in Phoenix as far as production and the preseason could start to sift through who will benefit and who will suffer. The team seems to be willing to give Matt Barnes a chance to win a starting job over Grant Hill in the preseason and that position battle will be worth keeping an eye on. Shaquille O'Neal's physical condition always is worth watching. And Suns brass has been beaming positive sentiments about rookie Goran Dragic , who is a relative unknown to most everyone but the Suns. The way they speak of him, he sounds like the next Steve Nash .

Sacramento Kings

Expected Starters: PG Beno Udrih , SG Kevin Martin , SF John Salmons , PF Mikki Moore , C Brad Miller
What to watch: John Salmons / Francisco Garcia
Fantasy Analysis: The departure of Metta World Peace will finally provide John Salmons with a chance for a permanent starting job. The way he's performed when given the chance in the past seems to indicate he'll be a solid asset to Fantasy owners. He averaged 17.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 41 games as a starter last season, and that's exactly what he'll be this fall. He also adds over a steal per game and a high field-goal percentage with some decent outside shooting. He's got some real breakout potential. The player who sometimes gets forgotten in all this is Francisco Garcia , who should also benefit from Artest leaving. Garcia averaged 16.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 20 games as a starter last season in a sample of what he's capable of.

Do you have a draft prep question for our staff? You can e-mail us at DMFantasyBasketball@cbs.com. Be sure to put Attn: Draft Prep in the subject field. Please include your full name, hometown and state.

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