The season! Finally!

I can't think of a better way to open this week's Solar Flares than with a comprehensive list of opening day rosters.

Phoenix will look for improved three-point shooting from the frontcourt this season. Here's a look at how the forwards shot from behind the arc in the preseason.

The bread and butter for Markieff Morris however, is the mid-range game.

Another dynamite take on how to be successful this season: Rebounds, good. Turnovers, bad.

Know thy enemy. Check out these short profiles on the Pacific Division for the 2014-15 season.

The number of international players in the NBA has increased 10 percent from one year ago. 101 international players from 37 countries and territories are on opening night rosters.

Yahoo's NBA Power Rankings. Because we don't have enough different power rankings.

"He's going to be one of those guys you have to deal with even at that age." Jeff Hornacek doesn't expect anything different from Kobe Bryant this season.

The Suns exercised their 2015-16 options on Archie Goodwin, Alex Len, and Miles Plumlee on Monday.

Here are some fun odds. Well, not fun for everyone I suppose. Who will be the first head coach to get canned this season? Wait! You have to guess before you read!

Josh Childress and the hardest foul anyone at USA Today has ever seen. I'm not trying to downplay the foul, but who is watching hoops over at USA Today??

"I went at Anthony Davis." A Q&A with Goran Dragic.

I don't think Earl Barron is done. But he is done in Phoenix.

Fun numbers from the Phoenix preseason that was.

You probably knew that Steve Nash of the Los Angeles Lakers is out for the season. You may not have known that the Lakers will request a "disabled player exception." Educate yourself.

Caution: This Machine Has No Brain Use Your Own...

The Phoenix Suns might be playing in one of the best divisions in the league, well, if you dispose your mind of the juvenile Sacramento Kings and the Bad News Bears Lakers. The Golden State Warriors have sleeper potential as conference champs and the Los Angeles Clippers are legitimate contenders to take the thrown.

Good thing SB Nation has this thing where there is a great website for every team in the league.

Before the season gets rolling we got the chance to talk with Greg Wissinger (Kings), Nate Parham (Warriors), and Drew Garrison (Lakers) to preview the Pacific Division in its entirety. Keep up withe enemy on SacTown Royalty, Golden State of Mind, and Silver Screen & Roll.

Full Podcast Here: BS of the Suns Episode 69 Pacific Division Preview

Clippers Podcast Here (Prema Donna's):  BS of the Suns Podcast Episode 66

Tune In: (Subscribe already)

Wissinger on Twitter: @gwiss

Parham on Twitter: @NateP_SBN

Garrison on Twitter: @DrewGarrisonSBN

Caution: This Machine Has No Brain Use Your Own...

The Phoenix Suns might be playing in one of the best divisions in the league, well, if you dispose your mind of the juvenile Sacramento Kings and the Bad News Bears Lakers. The Golden State Warriors have sleeper potential as conference champs and the Los Angeles Clippers are legitimate contenders to take the thrown.

Good thing SB Nation has this thing where there is a great website for every team in the league.

Before the season gets rolling we got the chance to talk with Greg Wissinger (Kings), Nate Parham (Warriors), and Drew Garrison (Lakers) to preview the Pacific Division in its entirety. Keep up withe enemy on SacTown Royalty, Golden State of Mind, and Silver Screen & Roll.

Full Podcast Here: BS of the Suns Episode 69 Pacific Division Preview

Clippers Podcast Here (Prema Donna's):  BS of the Suns Podcast Episode 66

Tune In: (Subscribe already)

Wissinger on Twitter: @gwiss

Parham on Twitter: @NateP_SBN

Garrison on Twitter: @DrewGarrisonSBN

While the Phoenix Suns have the luxury of "no brainer" decisions to keep their young players through their next contract options, other teams have decided to cut bait on their own rookie contract decisions.

Just a few short years ago, it was nearly unheard of for a rookie not to play for his drafting team through the first four years of his career. Names like Joe Alexander, drafted 8th overall by Milwaukee but released just two years later, were a punchline rather than a warning shot.

Suns fans might remember Wesley Johnson and Michael Beasley, two other victims of the declined fourth year team option. Each was a Top 5 pick in their draft (I'll pause while you control your chuckling) so their fourth year option was more than $6 million.

But generally, releasing a player from his rookie contract terms is a rarity. Players on rookie contracts are so valuable because most of them are playing for the equivalent (or close to it) of the league minimum. Team have say over years three and four as "team options". The salary is slotted but not guaranteed until the team says so.

In the wake of the Suns news today that they are exercising the 2015-16 options on Miles Plumlee, Alex Len and Archie Goodwin, let's look at their not-so-fortunate brethren.

2012 Draft

  • 5th overall pick Thomas Robinson (Kings/Rockets/Blazers) had his fourth year option (2015-16) declined
  • 10th overall pick Austin Rivers (Pelicans) had his fourth year option (2015-16) declined
  • 13th overall pick Kendall Marshall (Suns/Wizards/Lakers) had his third year option (2014-15) declined and was immediately released in October 2013
  • 16th overall pick Royce White (Rockets/Sixers) had his third year option declined (2014-15) and was released in October 2013
  • 22nd overall pick Fab Melo (Celtics/Grizzlies) had his third year option declined (2014-15) and was released in August 2013
  • 27th overall pick Arnette Moultrie (Sixers/Knick) had his fourth year option declined (2015-16) and was released today

That's 6 of 30 first round picks from 2012 not making it to their fourth season in the NBA with the team that drafted them. And with the exception of Thomas Robinson ($5 million) the contracts were relatively dirt cheap. The Blazers nearly made it seven but for some reason decided to keep the very disappointing Myers Leonard. It's good to be 7 feet tall (sorry, Fab).

Miles Plumlee was the 21st pick in the 2012 Draft by Indiana, who traded him to the Suns last year. He sat for all but 55 minutes as a rookie, but then in Phoenix started all 79 games he was available and comes into his second Suns season as the starter again. The Suns picked up his option today for his fourth season, so he's now under contract through 2016.

2013 Draft

It's really early to be losing anyone from a draft so recent, but remember that by this time a year ago three players from the 2012 Draft were already declined (Marshall, White, Melo) for their third year.

So far, only 18th overall pick Shane Larkin (Mavs/Knicks) is rumored to be on the cusp of losing his third year guarantee.

Everyone else looks to be getting their third year guaranteed, including the Suns' two draft picks Archie Goodwin and Alex Len.

We'll see a year from now how many of the class of 2013 lasts into their fourth year. It would be a surprise if the list doesn't expand by half a dozen over the next twelve months. But then again, with the salary cap rising the flat rookie contracts will be golden nuggets.

The Phoenix Suns announced Monday they have exercised the team options for the three players not named Morris that are still on rookie-scale deals. Miles Plumlee will be on  a guaranteed contract...

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