Channing Frye Deserves 5 Years And $25 Million -- Or More

Reports this morning are that the Suns first offered Channing Frye a five-year deal worth $20 million and then quickly added an additional $5 million to the pot.

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Most reaction to these offers trend towards the "Are you nuts! Frye isn't worth that!!"

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I couldn't disagree more and, in fact, think that Frye is probably worth more than that.

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He is only 27 years old and up until last season never got consistent minutes on any team. When given the time, Frye proved that he has the ability to not only stretch the floor, but is a capable defender when playing his natural power forward position and is serviceable against most teams' back-up centers.

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For the Suns, the combination of Frye and Robin Lopez (who is under his rookie contract for three more seasons) proved to be a productive and versatile pairing. Locking up that production at the center position for a combined $7 million to $10 million for the next three seasons is great value.

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Frye's reputation as a "one-trick pony" who does a great job knocking down threes (.439) and not much else is not deserved. His defensive effort and positive attitude and energy, especially as a 20- to 25-minute-per-game reserve, is not something that shows up on the stat sheet, but clearly was a huge part of the Suns' success this season.

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Given more time, I have little doubt that Frye will continue to improve other aspects of his game. He's not the kind of player who is going to take a big contract and stop working to improve.

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And finally, compare a $25 million or even $35 million contract for Frye with the $71 million the Utah Jazz committed to Mehmet Okur from 2004 to 2012 (and let's not even talk about the six years and $118 million the Magic gave Rashard Lewis).

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That's a bargain. Sign the man before some other team who needs a big man to stretch the floor offers him $40 million. Someone surely will.

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