Franchise impact should be done on the court. Entertainment, logistics, and fun aside the players and the front office are who should be the most impactful members of a franchise.
As we enter the Top 10 in the Phoenix Suns Rank for 2013-2014 there are six players total this high in the rankings. Six out of 14 players are this high in the rankings. I wonder how many other franchises have half their roster in the bottom half of a non-important ranking system?
Here is the first half of the Top 10 in #SUNSRANK:
Profile: Otherwise known as Emeka Okafor and a 1st Round Pick (Top 12 Protected)
Interesting Fact: The Suns turned a former 57th Overall Pick, that is turning 30, into a future Top 20 Pick.
Analysis: While setting up this Suns Rank concept one of the staff writers ranked "Whatever we get for Marcin Gortat" as one of the Top 25 important people for the team this year. It turns out that happened faster than anyone expected and "what we got" turned out to be Okafor and a first round pick. The two pieces coming back to the Suns will not make any significant impact this season, but the trade does as nearly every string there was to pull has been tugged on. It is unlikely that Okafor will play any significant minutes for the team this year and this could be another Caron Butler move, with a wink-and-a-nod, before he is delivered to a playoff team.
Important Question: How much are you going to miss the Polish Hammer?
Profile: 6-11 245 lbs. Power Forward -- Eighth Year Arizona
Summer Stats: (Pre-Season) In 16.0 MPG 7.8 PPG 3.5 RPG 43.9% FG 29.2% 3PT (7/24)
Interesting Fact: Channing has fries named after him at Majerle's Grill, the only current Suns player with an item named after him on the menu. They are delicious.
Analysis: Yes, #9 seems rather low for Mr. Frye, especially given his successful recovery from a frightening condition and his hometown roots. However, if we are ranking the members of this organization from to bottom in terms of importance, I stand by my ranking based on the fact that Frye will not make enough of a difference to either get us back into the playoffs this season, nor provide us with a solid foundation for the future. Frye's contribution will be stretching the defense this season and giving the fans someone they can feel good about watching and cheering for. There's no doubt Frye will not only help the team, but make watching games more enjoyable this year, which is why he cracked the top 10 in my rankings. However, I don't see Channing as being part of the vision that McDonough likely has for this team going forward. - Sean Sullivan
Important Question: Is Frye another "asset" or does he have a future after the All-Star Break this year?
Profile: 6-5 198 lbs. Combo Guard -- Rookie Kentucky
Stats: (Pre-Season) In 15.7 MPG 6.3 PPG 1.6 RPG 0.6 APG 41.5% FG (0-11 3PT)
Analysis: The reason I have Goodwin so high is that he is the first real player with elite potential to be drafted by the new regime, with the potential to one day be the face of this franchise. His importance has much more to do with the long-term implications, rather than the immediate ones, though I still believe Goodwin will be important to this year's Suns team as well by injecting them with an aggressive offensive mindset and energetic defense as well. Goodwin's development this season will be one of the biggest measures of success this season....much more than any meaningless wins this team accrues as it looks forward to the future, in which they hope to quickly return to contention. - Sean Sullivan
Important Question: Are the fans expecting too much from an 18 year old No. 29 Overall pick?
Profile: Play-by-Play -- 42nd Year Drake University
Career Stats: 42 Seasons (3,313 games), 28 Playoff Appearances (261 games), 2 Trips to the NBA Finals, and more SHAZAM'S! than one person could ever possibly count.
Interesting Fact: McCoy is versatile, he did play-by-play on the weekends for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 1998, their inaugural season.
Analysis: I picked the voice of the Suns higher than any of my other colleagues. Maybe it's because I'm mawkish and grew up with him as a household voice... Maybe that's why he is called the voice of the Suns. He is synonymous with the brand to me. 42 years tends to establish that kind of notoriety. Despite that tenure there are still two glaring omissions in his storied career. One - Despite his four+ decades of service and his station as one of the greatest broadcasters in sports history Al still hasn't been honored by the team as an inductee to the ring of honor. Two - Calling the clinching game in a Suns NBA Championship. Considering he turns 81 this season time is running out. While the second feat seems worlds away from where the Suns are currently stationed, the first can, and should, be rectified by the team before it's too late. Doesn't McCoy rank among such non-players Such as Cotton Fitzsimmons, John MacLeod and Joe Proski... That's what I thought. - Jim Coughenour
Important Question: Already discussed it in my snippet. When will the Suns induct him into the ring of honor?
Profile: 7-1 255 lbs. Center -- Rookie Maryland
Summer Stats: (Pre-Season) In 15.4 MPG 2.8 PPG 4.6 RPG 0.6 BPG 37.5% FG
Interesting Fact: Len is the toast of the Ukraine as a former gymnast, a talented chess player, and the highest player ever drafted from the country (that distinction was previously held by Vitaly Potapenko, 12th Overall by Cleveland) and is the center of the future in the Valley.
Analysis: I ranked Len lowest on the staff, simply because I don't think he's that much of a key this season. I'd be happy if the 20-year old Len slowly progresses and develops good habits while doing so, and then comes in next year in a much bigger role. To overexpose Len is to invite catastrophe - either in terms of health (ankles) or habits (scoring over rebounding/defense). If Len develops highly this season, that's nothing more than a pleasant surprise. Len has the skillset to succeed - finishing at the basket, quick feet, jumper, size, length, agility, speed, nose for ball. What he needs to develop is strength and staying power - the guy has to build the foundation of a long-term player. Right now, he's a gorgeous house with an open floor plan and great natural light sitting on rickety stilts on the edge of the Jersey shore. - Dave King
Important Question: Can Alex Len stay healthy?
Come back tomorrow for the Top 5 in the #SUNSRANK series and follow along on Twitter!
Profile: Unknown to the common eye, nobody can see them or communicate with them, but they exist in the world of Beas...
Stats: They were a key factor in 42.6% (two-point) and 31.3% (three-point) shooting. They bounce balls off the rim...
Interesting Fact: These Gremlins have followed Beasley around since early 1990 after their second movie (Gremlins 2: The New Batch) didn't produce the right type of monster. Instead they were tiny little nuisance that only get joy from knocking balls off of metal cylinders.
Analysis: Was there anything more entertaining last season than when Michael Beasley went on a rant about "gremlins on the rim" being the reason his shots were not falling. Either pure gold or horrifying insight into the psyche for Beasley. This is about the only thing that happened in the one full season that the Valley had the pleasure of hosting Beasley and his Gremlins.
Important Question: Did something follow one of the teams nine new players this year?