Apr 2, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Channing Frye (8) is defended by Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin (32) during the third quarter at US Airways Center. The Clippers won 112-108. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

NBA rumors: Channing Frye reportedly leaning toward free agency


ESPN’s Marc Stein reports that Phoenix Suns forward Channing Frye is leaning toward an exploration of free agency. Frye has a $6.8 million player option for the 2014-15 season with the ability to opt out, and he has until Monday to make a final decision. It looks like he’s going to test the market.

Frye averaged 11.1 points per game and hit 37 percent shooting from three-point range this past season. Coming off a serious heart ailment that kept him from all of the 2012-13 year, Frye  was one of the most surprising pieces of the Suns’ successful year in 2013-14. He started from opening night onward and became a member of one of the best pick-and-roll duos along with point guard Goran Dragic.

While Frye may not provide the defense or rebounding that many would expect in a power forward, he did give Phoenix a deadly pick-and-pop threat and overall ranked No. 10 in ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus ranking. Former Suns general manager Steve Kerr is reportedly coveting Frye if his new team, the Golden State Warriors, don’t pull of a trade for a player like Kevin Love. Kerr’s former assistant in the front office, David Griffin, covets Frye on the Cavaliers, especially considering the squad saw improvements with stretch center Spencer Hawes and might lose him in free agency.

Phoenix probably still values the big man to a great degree. Frye proved to have a greater impact than most gave him credit for. Despite his rebounding and defensive deficiencies, he helped the Suns on the offensive end and hid his deficiencies. Certainly, Phoenix will have to consider Frye’s impact right now and then relate it to how the free agencies of Eric Bledsoe and P.J. Tucker develop when considering their financial situtation. They’ll also see if Markieff Morris has made significant strides enough to warrant giving the 31-year-old Frye a long-term extension.

If Frye leaves Phoenix, the Suns have the ability to fill a hole left by Frye with the Morris twins. Nonetheless, it would be a significant loss to spreading the court and milking the pick-and-roll game.

  • 4everis2long

    IMO this is a Christmas gift. Oh the front office will likely say all the right things but with the probable addition of a power forward through free agency and or the draft and the development of Markief, paying Frye almost $7m/yr seems expensive. Glad he contributed to the team’s success last year. I will wish him continued success elsewhere if this comes to fruition.

    • EarlBlackJesusMonroe

      Frye and McD have already worked out a new contract, Frye is willing to take less for more years to stay home.

    • EarlBlackJesusMonroe

      Would you send Alex Len and the 14th to Cleveland for the #1 overall pick?

      • KlausFlouride

        Stop teasing, EBJM.

        • EarlBlackJesusMonroe

          It is plausible. Cleveland needs a center and were reportedly going to take Emblid before his recent surgery. They are looking to trade down now. Len gives them a center and the 14th a good wing.

          • Hawki

            Len would love it in Cleveland….he & Tyler Zeller could wear each other’s clothes

      • Adam

        I think anyone in there right mind would…but the chances of the Cavs doing that are slim and none. Len wouldn’t even be drafted in the top 10 in this years class…and #14 is awfully far down from #1. If the Cavs had a second lottery pick, or could dump some bad contracts on us then MAYBE…but I don’t see that.

        If we even wanted them to consider a trade, it would have to be Len, #14 + #18 (allowing them to move back up), and the Lakers pick next year. I would do that…but thats a much more realistic trade for the Cavs than anything else.

        • EarlBlackJesusMonroe

          If a raw 6′-11″ center such as Joel Emblid could go#1 in a draft weak in centers, why wouldn’t a healthy 7′-1″ skilled center such as Len not be in the top ten?

          • Adam

            I get what you’re saying…and its certainly debateable…but Cleveland had a chance to take Len last year and passed on him. If it was Len and a top 6-8 pick..I think they would take that deal. Len + #14…it just seems like there is something missing from that trade. If we had the #1 overall pick, and traded it for Len + 14…I would think we lost that trade.

            Now…if we could trade up with the Kings (get #8), then offer the Cavs Len, + #8, + Lakers pick next year….that might be a trade they would take. I would do it….take Wiggins or Parker and be happy.

          • EarlBlackJesusMonroe

            The Cavaliers fired Chris Grant for drafting Bennett #1 last year. Last years draft had a lot of hits and misses. Len could still very well be the best center ofhis draft class.

            I was looking at the trade as #5+#14 for the #1. The key being the draft is lacking in centers.

          • Adam

            Hey…if the Suns could pull it off, then by all means I would do it. I just think it’s not very likely with 2 very high profile players available for them to choose from. I think trying to sell Len + whomever they got at #14 would be much tougher than taking either Wiggins or Parker and having a potential ROTY.

      • 4everis2long

        Yes I would EBJM because while I like Len he like Embiid is a health risk. However because Embiid has a higher ceiling it would be a no brainer IMO.

        • EarlBlackJesusMonroe

          Actually I didn’t mean taking Emblid. If you had the number one who would you take, Emblid or someone else?

          • 4everis2long

            Probably Embiid because I think he is a very very special player if my medical staff convinces me there is a better than 70% chance he makes a full recovery (I would not want a Brook Lopez). Not Parker that is for certain as he has never impressed me for his NBA potential. I think he will be good but probably not all-star good. Maybe Exum or Wiggins whom I believe have all-star potential..

          • Adam

            Gotta take Wiggins #1 now. He has the potential to be elite…it might take him a couple of years to reach his full potential…but he will be at the very least an all-star quality player. He has ELITE athleticism, and he is a really good defender, which will help him make an impact sooner.

            Embiid could be good, but with back/foot problems, and two other “elite” options…I would find it hard to beleive anyone would take Embiid #1 overall now.

          • 4everis2long

            Certainly it is a compelling argument for taking Wiggins Adam. I would be placing a lot of faith in the Suns medical staff. I remember R. Lopez had foot and back problems early in his career and he has not had any problems since those first few years in the league. Just like with Len, the Suns trusted their medical team. It would be a tough call but I would trust the doctor.

          • Adam

            I see what you’re saying…but you wouldn’t need to trade all the way up to #1 now to get Embiid. He may slide anywhere from 4-10….so if you was the target, I would gamble and try to get him at say #6 from Boston.

  • Adam

    Let him go. He’s a decent player, but not vital.

    Sign Gasol and Deng to 2 year deals, resign Bledsoe, Use our picks to move up and get Randle.

    Next years starting lineup – Dragic, Bledsoe, Deng, Gasol, Plumlee
    Bench: Goodwin, Randle, Len, Morris Twins

    We have the vets to win now and still have a great young core to build on in Bledsoe, Goodwin, Randle, Len

  • Matthew Wilcoxen

    I saw here and on another couple sites that people were interpreting the opt-out decision as indicative of Frye’s desire to play elsewhere. It seems more likely that he is opting-out in order to sign a longer-term deal (3-4 years) with a lower annual salary, and thereby get himself more guaranteed money. He seems committed to the Valley, and would likely prefer to stay with the Suns. It is a very wise financial decision for a guy his age who just came back from a serious illness. I hope the Suns re-sign him for four years and about $4.5m-5m per season.

  • Arizona Jim

    Frye is awfully streaky.

  • DBreezy

    I see this as somewhat of a mixed bag. There’s obviously a lot of back channeling with this stuff this time of year so I think Channing has a pretty good idea of what he could potentially get on the market. Beyond the teams mentioned, I would imagine that there will be others as he fits his role very well. His weaknesses get magnified here as the Suns currently lack the kind of 4′s to fill those needs inside, but teams like the Heat, Clippers, Thunder, etc all could use someone like him off the bench as a modern day Sam Perkins or Robert Horry. If the Suns choose to pursue Channing, they may have to compete on more than just money. Role, fit, and playoff opportunities may factor in for a 31yr old coming off a serious heart issue.

    While it’s clear that they want an upgrade to the 4 position, unless we’re talking a star it was going to be tough to get to McD’s 55-60 with a free agent PF along with Frye and Kieff. Now the Suns are in a position where Kieff may be the starter. For some reason no one in the organization seems particularly excited by that prospect even with him coming off a strong year. Barring a solid trade, you would have to think that this increases the odds of the Suns actually keep all 3 picks. All in all not the end of the world if you see the Suns as in year 2 of a nice rebuild, but if it’s win now mode this is a blow.

    • 4everis2long

      I still do not get how the Suns are in a win now mode with 55-60 wins. Yeah it is a minimum of 6 more wins than last season that had a banged up Bledsoe and virtually no Len all year but IMO that is a big jump in the Western Conference. When you factor in Len and Goodwin will have a learning curve certainly at the beginning of the season as they receive more quality time, I just do not see it. Maybe if they got Monroe, 55 would be foreseeable. Then again McD and Coach Horny stunned everyone last season almost winning 50 so I will sit down and witness another possible miracle.

      • DBreezy

        I don’t see just yet either man, but as long as they don’t make any foolish bets on the win now belief, I’m all in for the ride.

  • Luka

    Good riddance…

  • 4everis2long

    It was reported on Hoopshype yesterday that Steve Kerr is very interested in securing Frye if Warriors cannot get Love. Cavs allegedly are also interested in Frye. Therefore I am not sure it is a done deal Frye stays in Phoenix for less annual salary but more years on his deal.

    • EarlBlackJesusMonroe

      Then the Suns should grab Marreesse Speights im return from the Warriors.

  • 4everis2long

    This has nothing to do with Frye but supposedly the Lakers want to trade their #7 pick to a team who can take Nash as well without the Lakers taking any salary back. This supposedly will enable the Lakers to sign two expensive free agents. If trading 14 and 18 will net us Randle, I think the Suns will give it some thought.