The Suns have officially come to terms with free agent forward/center Channing Frye, verbally agreeing on a five-year, $30 million contract.
The deal is for about $14 million more than the Suns had initially hoped to pay, but when the Bucks promised Drew Gooden $32 million over five years and the Raptors promised Amir Johnson $34 million over five years, the Suns had no choice but to up the ante for a player that is arguably the most talented of those three.
Frye provides a unique angle for the Suns’ offense and Sarver could not risk another team coming in and stealing him away for some ridiculous amount of money.
Additionally, with Amar’e Stoudemire almost a lock to leave the Suns and sign with the New York Knicks, the team needed to shore up their frontcourt support. Behind Frye, the Suns only have newly-acquired Hakim Warrick and rookies Gani Lawal and Dwayne Collins to depend on. The fate of fan-favorite Lou Amundson remains up in the air, but he seems unlikely to return given what will surely be a market-inflated price for his services.
Frye’s role on the team next year is somewhat unsure. With Amar’e gone, will his minutes increase? Will he start at power forward?
The Arizona Republic’s Paul Coro says the following:
Losing Stoudemire is an acknowledged step back for the organization but the Suns do feel like Warrick is a defensive upgrade and that he would likely start at power forward for them.
With Warrik the heir-apparent to the starting PF spot, it’s likely that Frye’s role will remain comparable to last season, playing roughly 20-25 minutes as the backup center.