Channing Frye accepts five-year deal for $30 million with the Phoenix Suns

Channing Frye

Hours after turning down a five-year, $25 million deal from the Phoenix Suns, Paul Coro reported that Channing Frye has accepted a five-year, $30 million offer to stay in Phoenix.

Frye was waiting to hear back from the New York Knicks and Miami Heat about a potential contract, but Phoenix ultimately lured in the sharpshooter with a $10 million increase from its initial offer.

Channing opted out of his contract that owed him $2.1 million next season to test free agency. It was looking like the Suns might lose the native-phoenician after Phoenix it seemed that the Suns wouldn’t offer Frye the full MLE.

But as he’d hoped to do all along, the 6-foot-11 big man will stay at home for what will most likely be five more seasons.

“Why would I not want to be back? There’s really no reason for me not to want to come back and not to be a part of this group,” Frye said the day after the Suns were eliminated by the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals.

With the pending status of free agent power forward Amare Stoudemire, re-signing Frye, who averaged 11.2 points and 5.3 rebounds while shooting 44 percent from three last season, became almost essential.

At age 27, Frye put together a belated career-year of sorts last season, transforming from a big man with a soft label into a knockdown three-point shooter. Channing drilled 202 treys in the regular season and playoffs combined and posted the team’s highest unadjusted +/-  during the regular season, as the Suns were 5.95 points per 100 possessions with Frye on the floor.

He became one of the NBA’s most unique weapons last season, and the way teams were spending one day into the free agency frenzy, you have to think Frye could have garnered a bigger contract. If Amir Johnson and Drew Gooden cashed in on $34 million and $32 million, respectively, Frye would have definitely landed at least the MLE.

So the fact that he agreed to stay with Steve Nash and company in Phoenix proves Frye’s dedication to staying in the Valley. He has yet to produce in the rebounding and defense departments, but Frye’s shooting and size alone would have been almost impossible to replace.

Needless to say, Frye coming back to Planet Orange for $30 million over five years is a very solid deal for Phoenix, but what does that mean for STAT? Bringing back Frye could mean that the Suns are dedicated to bringing back the 2009-10 squad, but it could also mean that Frye is the affordable replacement for Amare.

He’s still young enough to improve and isn’t a bad fit next to Lopez, if the Suns are opting to go the inexpensive route. Planet Orange should know Stoudemire’s ultimatum in the coming days (or hours), but for now we know that the Phoenix Suns were able to retain one of their big men less than 24 hours into free agency.

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