The Cleveland Cavaliers have about $17 million in cap space to spend this summer, but could clear up around $23 million to offer a max contract. In the following few weeks here at Right Down Euclid, we will be profiling players the Cavaliers might pick up during the free agency period. Today, we profile Phoenix Suns power forward Channing Frye. Click here for more free agency profiles.
Tale of the Tape
Name: Channing Frye
Prior Team: Phoenix Suns
Weight: 248 lbs.
2013-14 Per Game Stats: 11.1 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 1.2 APG, .7 SPG, .8 BPG, .432 FG%, .370 3PT%, .821 FT%, 82 GP
Career Per Game Stats: 9.9 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 1.0 APG, .6 SPG, .7 BPG, .443 FG%, .385 3PT%, .815 FT%
Channing Frye is a somewhat lanky, stretch four-type player that also sees some time at center. Drafted in the lottery (eighth overall) all the way back in 2005, Frye has become a steady NBA contributor; although he has failed to truly make an impact in his career. Though starting out as a prototypical PF, he gradually morphed his game into the stretch four he is today, averaging about two 3s a game for the past two seasons, which is his real value to a team. Although streaky, he is capable of putting up big numbers in stretches. The big detriment to his game is his weakness underneath the basket; he’s not a great rebounder, isn’t very big and isn’t very tough. Even so, he was a contributor to the surprise season the Phoenix Suns had last year.
Frye has, as aforementioned, a lanky build. He’s pretty tall, but he lacks strength when compared to other NBA big men. His height, paired with his ability to shoot from mid-range and the 3 allows him to space the floor well. He’s also got good athleticism for his size.
Frye doesn’t try to create too much offense himself and doesn’t really work in the post; rather his teammates will use him in the pick-and-pop, getting him opportunities from mid-range and the outside, stretching the floor. He’s more than capable of making these shots, shooting 37 percent from 3 last year. He runs the court pretty well for a guy his size, too. Although he seems a little one-dimensional, the Suns’ numbers were better with him on the court last year, so he does have value offensively.
Frye is not great defensively, but he has improved through the years. Underneath the hoop, he’s not soft; he’s SAWFT. He’s not a good shot-blocker, he doesn’t have a big body to throw around and he is a very poor rebounder. He also is poor defending spot-up shooters. In the post, his defense is actually quite good, holding opponents to under 40 percent shooting.
Frye was considered a leader on the young Suns and has never been reported as a locker-room problem. He did have to sit the entire 2012-13 season with an enlarged heart, but that didn’t seem to affect his health last year, as he played all 82 games, so that shouldn’t be an issue going forward. Frye runs the floor well and gives good effort.
How Does He Fit on the Cavaliers?
He doesn’t. At least in my opinion. The Cavs have young pieces at the PF/C position (Thompson, Bennett, Zeller) that they need to cultivate, and bringing in a 31 year-old that played 28 MPG last year will limit the amount of time they will get. In addition, I’m not even sure he’ll provide a big enough upgrade to justify paying him around $6.4 million a year (his salary last year). His kind of skill set is the kind I think is available from a younger guy at a much more reasonable price if they need it.