As expected, Channing Frye’s agent tells Suns he’s opting out, to be free agent

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Moms, if you’ve got a tall son teach him to shoot the three ball. Because if you’re a big man who can knock it down from the arc, you are going to get paid. The NBA is evolving toward needing that skill set more than the ability to back down some guy in the post and take up 12 seconds of the clock doing it.

Channing Frye sees that and wants to cash in.

Frye was set to make $6.8 million next season but clearly wants the security of a multi-year deal more because he’s leaving that money on the table.

Frye’s agent informed the Suns on Monday the stretch four was opting out of his contract for next season, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

Frye passed on his player option for $6.8 million for the 2014-15 season, which would’ve been the final season of a five-year, $30 million deal. The Suns were notified of Frye’s decision on Monday.

The Suns have a desire to re-sign Frye, sources said, but much will be determined about that viability through the draft and possible trades.

Frye missed all of the 2012-13 season due to an enlarged heart but bounced back last season to average11.1 points and 5.1 rebounds in 28.2 minutes per contest, knocking down 37 percent of his looks from three-point range. He was a floor-spacing four for most of the season but even played some five for the small-ball Suns under Jeff Hornacek.

Frye may be 31 but his skill set is in growing demand around the NBA and he should have no problem securing a multi-year deal. Already there are reports the Warriors (with former Suns’ Steve Kerr and Alvin Gentry as coaches) as well as the Cleveland Cavaliers have interest. There likely will be others.

Frye’s new deal could end up being for less per year than he would have made last year, but after everything with his heart condition he may prefer the security of a longer-term deal to that money up front.

 

Jazz boost international bona fides with new minor-league coach

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Martin Schiller has been named coach of the Salt Lake City Stars, the Utah Jazz’s NBA G League affiliate.

Schiller previously served as an assistant coach of MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in Germany and replaces Dean Cooper. He was an assistant coach for the Artland Dragons from 2010-15.

Schiller has also been an assistant coach on the German National Team since 2015, where he worked with Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen.

Schiller hails from Vienna, Austria, and Stars vice president of basketball operations Bart Taylor lauded him for his international experience and player development background.

The Jazz organization is known to have close relationships with the international basketball community. The Jazz currently have eight international players.

Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 with Celtics

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BOSTON (AP) — Newly acquired guard Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 in Boston because the Celtics already have retired the numbers he wore in college and with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Irving wore No. 11 at two New Jersey high schools before switching to No. 1 at Duke. He wore No. 2 with the Cavaliers for the first six years of his NBA career.

The Celtics retired No. 1 for founder and original owner Walter Brown. They retired No. 2 for former coach and general manager Red Auerbach.

In all, the Celtics have retired 21 numbers, with Paul Pierce’s No. 34 next in line for the TD Garden rafters.

 

PBT Extra: Cavaliers’ new GM aces first big test with Kyrie Irving trade

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Everyone in the NBA — heck, nearly everyone living in the Western hemisphere — knew Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland. That should kill the Cavaliers’ leverage and make it hard to get enough quality back.

New GM Koby Altman — the guy thrust into the job when David Griffin was shown the door — pulled it off brilliantly.

That’s what I talk about in this new PBT Extra. With Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, the Cavaliers remain the team to beat in the East this season. The Brooklyn Nets pick gives them flexibility going forward, whatever LeBron James decides to do next season.

First time at the plate in the big leagues and Altman crushed it to straight away center field.

Cavaliers-Celtics deal first offseason trade involving players who just met in NBA Finals or conference finals

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The Cavaliers and Celtics played in last year’s Eastern Conference finals. The teams were widely expected to meet there again.

Yet, Cleveland and Boston just completed a blockbuster trade – Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.

That seemed odd.

In fact, it’s unprecedented.

That is an incredible fact, one which speaks to LeBron Jamescachet. The Cavs are emphasizing this season, LeBron’s last before a player option, by loading up with veterans Thomas and Crowder. With LeBron still reigning in Cleveland, the Celtics are delaying their peak by acquiring the younger Irving.

Adding to the intrigue: the Cavs and Celtics are still favored to meet in this year’s conference finals. At minimum, they’ll face off in a(n even more) highly anticipated opening-night matchup.