Ranking players before the season seems to be the craze this summer. So to take a break from analyzing team needs, fits, strengths, and weaknesses, you know those silly unimportant things, the combination of SB Nation Arizona and the guys at Bright Side of the Sun ranked the 25 most important faces for the Phoenix Suns coming into this season. Of course, we had a little fun with it.
The criterion for this is pretty simple, who do we, as individuals, feel is the most important person in the franchise for this upcoming season.
If you look at most franchises there are people that are extremely pivotal to the success of the year and others that are just there. Sure, someone will come out of nowhere and surprise us showing that they are more important than originally anticipated, but, until then, this is our ranking and we are sticking to it.
Our esteemed panel consisted of Alex Laugan, Jacob Padilla, Jim Coughenour, Leiland Tanner, the 7footer, and of course myself -- Kristofer Habbas.
Starting with No. 25 and counting down all the way to No. 1 we rank them and then justify it. The average of all the voters is in parenthesis next the name:
25. P.J. Tucker (22.33)
First Year With The Suns
Tucker put in his time in Europe grinding to become a pretty cool story for the team coming out of Summer League. He may be Mr. DNP this year replacing Hakim Warrick with the depth in the front court that was created this summer. Nonetheless Tucker is feel good story that hopefully can become more. - Kristofer Habbas
24. Lance Blanks (22.33)
Third Year With The Suns
Position: General Manager
I actually ranked Lance dead last, but my brethren feel he's better than that. Lance likes the under-the-radar guys that no one else likes a la Michael Beasley and Wesley Johnson were his top targets in free-agency this offseason. Let's see if they pan out. - 7footer
23. Wesley Johnson (22.16)
First Year With The Suns
Position: Small Forward
Wesley Johnson is more known at this point for what he hasn't done rather than what he has. The former 4th overall pick in the draft just two seasons ago has been a disappointment for the Minnesota Timberwolves, who opted to trade him to Phoenix as part of three-team deal this off-season. However, it's also possible that the T-Wolves gave up on the talented prospect too soon, and that Wes could find his way in Phoenix to become the player so many anticipated him to be coming out of Syracuse. Time will tell. - 7footer
22. Robert Sarver (21)
Ninth Year With The Suns
The owner always catches flack when they do not win Championships or reel in the big ticket free-agents, but Sarver has actually done a decent job. He was in charge when the team landed Steve Nash, brought in Grant Hill, swung for the fences on Shaquille O'Neal, and has spent money on a lot of players, just not the right ones at times. Internally Sarver does a good job making sure resources are there for the team, but again, he may not have the right people running the team. The man cannot catch a break... - Kristofer Habbas
21. Tom Leander (20.83)
20th Year With The Suns
Position: Studio Announcer
Unfortunately for Leander, Scott Williams is no longer a part of the Suns' organization which means there's no one left to shift focus off of Leander's annoying play-by-play. Fortunately for Leander (and everyone else), he will no longer be doing play-by-play and is moving to the studio show. The fewer chances he gets to use his catchphrases, the better. - Jacob Padilla
What do you think of the list so far? Were we unfair to those listed? Is your favorite player, coach, or Suns personnel member not listed? Well, that is a good thing because the list is in reverse order going from 25-1, remember?
Keep up with the rankings: 25-21 (9/17) 20-16 (9/18) 15-11 (9/19) 10-6 (9/20) 5-1 (9/21)