The Phoenix Suns' roster is about to undergo some changes. Fan favorites will be lost, fan favorites will be gained. Regardless of whether or not the LeBron James-Carmelo Anthony pairing comes to fruition, there will be blood. The following players ended the 2013-14 season on the Suns' roster. Below is my best guess at the odds of any one player being on the roster come tip-off of the 2014-15 season.
I'm not speculating as to how or why they will no longer be Suns because the possibilities are too myriad to contemplate at this point. But I'm more than happy to speculate about whether or not they will be here at all.
As of right now, The Dragon is not just a fan favorite, but the face of the franchise. He achieved new career heights this year and shows no signs of regressing to any kind of mean. He's also a complete steal at $7.5 million. It wouldn't be unwise for the Phoenix Suns to capitalize on his peak value by trading him as part of a blockbuster deal. But considering owner Robert Sarver went out of his way to personally bring Dragic back to Phoenix, I think he's safe.
Odds of remaining a Sun: Does a Dragon breathe fire?
Oh, Channing. We love you. We hate you. You are the most polarizing member of this current squad. Any opinion I state here is going to set off a tire fire in the comments section. Well, here's the spark to that conflagration. Frye's ability to space the floor and play both the 4 and the 5 were essential to the Phoenix Suns' success this year, especially with Alex Len on the shelf to start the season. However, his production fell off toward the end of the year, he's has opted to test the free agent waters, and he will have suitors. He's not exactly expendable, but he's not irreplaceable either.
Odds of remaining a Sun: 38.5%
Gerald Green was an offensive terror for the Phoenix Suns this season. He was conscience-free marksman from deep and an acrobatic madman on the break. No other Sun provided highlights like Green last season. He's also a journeyman whose career has been marked by inconsistency and a mediocre defender. But for $3.5M, he provided a cheap and effective offensive spark as both starter and substitute.
Odds of remaining a Sun: About the same as having a second consecutive career year.
The fifth overall draft pick had a rough rookie year. After starting the season injured and seeing his projected role as primary big man supplanted by Miles Plumlee, he played limited minutes in limited situations. He flashed potential but is far from a finished product. But he's a Ryan McDonough draft pick and a skilled if unpolished big man on a rookie contract.
Odds of remaining a Sun: Ukraine is game to you?! I take your little board and smash! (He's not going anywhere.)
Is he injury prone? Does he want to be in Phoenix? Can he lure LeBron James? Can LeBron James lure him? Eric Bledsoe is Phoenix Suns' restricted man of mystery. Paired with Goran Dragić, he was half of one the most effective backcourts in the NBA. His athleticism and aggression were a perfect complement to Goran's craftiness and dead-eye midrange game. He also missed a hefty chunk of the season due to knee surgery and will be looking for something in the neighborhood of a max contract.
Odds of remaining a Sun: He's played 240 of a possible 328 games in his career, so let's call it 73.2%.
The fact that I have to treat these two as a package deal might be problematic. While Markieff shows considerable promise as a young power forward, Marcus' contributions as a small forward are less essential to this franchise. Or any franchise. Where as Kieff took his game to new heights this season and vied for Sixth Man of the Year, Mook looked like almost any other backup 3 in the league. Markieff will have to blossom into a hell of a player for Marcus to be part of the price of obtaining his services for the rest of his career.
Odds of remaining Suns: The same odds as someone being able to correctly identify them without their jersey numbers.
Miles started his career as a Sun by out-hustling Marcin Gortat in camp and then going bananas with double-doubles in his first two regular season games. With his insane vertical leap and energy, he looked like a rich man's version of Lou Amundson. However, as the season wore on, he looked more and more like just a taller Lou Amundson as his offensive game took a nose dive 2 feet from the rim and his defense involved more movement than effectiveness. But he's young, cheap and tall and that doesn't exactly grow on trees.
Odds of remaining a Sun: Considerably better than his odds of making a free throw.
Like fellow rookie Alex Len, The Mongoose had a bumpy rookie season. While he showed flashes of potential (especially against like competition at Summer League), more often he looked like a 19 year-old kid finding his way in the man's world of the NBA. He was always a project so that's not really a big negative. He still oozes potential as a 2-way player with loads of athleticism. And he's got the benefit of being a Ryan McDonough acquisition.
Odds of remaining a Sun: The same as him eventually making the Suns' Ring of Honor. So, like 92%.
Pharaoh Head, as I have affectionately been calling him for the last week, provided a decent change of pace to the brilliance of either Dragic or Bledsoe when he came off the bench. He always gave his all and never backed down from a challenge. Unfortunately, he frequently wasn't up to a lot of those challenges, especially if they involved creating offense. And the Suns just drafted Tyler Ennis.
Odds of remaining a Sun: You saw this coming, right? 4.3%.
Like Gerald Green, P.J. Tucker is a journeyman basket-baller who had a career year on this incarnation of the Cinderella Suns. Unlike Gerald Green, Tucker made his living as a defensive and rebounding pitbull who surprised everyone by adding a corner 3 to his otherwise limited offensive repertoire. Also unlike Green, he is due for a big payday this offseason. Marcus Morris, on a mid-first round rookie deal, made twice as much as the guy he was backing up this season. P.J. Tucker is going to get PAID by someone. Thanks to Bird rights and restricted free agency, it's probably the Phoenix Suns. But maybe it's not.
Odds of remaining a Sun: About the same as me crying for my mommy if I were ever to anger him.
Dionte Christmas did... things for the Phoenix Suns this season. He was a spirited cheerleader during games and by all accounts a spirited competitor in practice and just a big a locker room presence as anyone else on the team. But none of that really translates into on-court production or wins and 12th men in the NBA are as interchangeable as Lego blocks.
Odds of remaining a Sun: It might be a cute saying, but there is no Christmas in July. Except maybe at Summer League.
Leandrinho provided a heart-warming dose of nostalgia in his brief stint as a Sun this season. He also provided some scoring punch off the bench in January and February while Phoenix was missing Eric Bledsoe. Unfortunately, due to injury, he only played in 2 more games after February 19, ending the season on the Suns' inactive list.
Odds of remaining a Sun: Meep-meep. In this case, he's the coyote and remaining a Sun is the roadrunner.
UPDATE: Forgot a couple of forgettable big men here.
Here's what I can tell you about Shavlik Randolph: He is a filthy liar. His real first name is Ronald. Why doesn't he go by Ronald Randolph? Or even just Ron Randolph? I'd by a used car from Ron Randolph or maybe even some wall-to-wall carpet. But instead, he tried to trick us into calling him Shavlik. Does he think he's a Viking or something? I'm not buying a car from Shavlik and I'm certainly not signing him to the veteran's minimum.
Odds of remaining a Sun: The same as your first name being "Shavlik."
Remember when Emeka Okafor was a great asset as an expiring contract? He was going to be the missing piece in a big trade to put the Suns over the top. Well, now he's a $19M cap hold (!) and actual impediment to getting anything done in free agency. He will be renounced and his name will be forever emblazoned in the Never ORNG Hall of Fame.
Odds of remaining a Sun: Exactly equivalent to the number of minutes he played as a Sun.
What do you think? Who's staying? Who's going? Lay your own odds in the comments.