The Suns allowed Channing Frye to walk in free agency this summer, and the loss of his abilities, especially on the offensive end floor, was likely to impact the team in a greater way than casual observers might have expected.
Frye played the stretch-four role, knocking down three-pointers at enough of a clip (37 percent) to help space the floor for his team’s high-powered offense, one that often featured Goran Dragic creating by gaining dribble penetration inside.
Phoenix made a move aimed at replacing that level of production, at least in part.
From Shams Charania of RealGM:
Free agent Anthony Tolliver has reached agreement on a two-year, $6 million contract with the Phoenix Suns, league sources told RealGM. …
On the first day of free agency, every NBA general manager received a hard copy 20-page presentation highlighting Tolliver as the 15th best three-point shooter in the league, his 48.2 percent three-point percentage in the fourth quarter and the strong plus-minus ratios in his career. …
“The Suns are an up tempo team, and when I was with Golden State I had a similar style. I’m able to produce at a high level and this style compares to that Golden State team. I can play the three as well, but my natural position is four, rebounding, hitting open shots. The Suns made it clear I’m coming to play the four. Phoenix is a great city, a great family city.”
Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic reports that the contract is only partially guaranteed for $400,000 in the second season.
Tolliver played in Charlotte last season, where he shot a career-best 41.3 percent from three-point distance, and averaged 20.3 minutes per contest in 64 appearances.
Frye did more than just shoot threes — he could score from plenty of areas on the floor when given the opportunity, got his fair share of rebounds, and was decent enough in defending the pick-and-roll (or at least slowing it) on the perimeter.
But if Tolliver can continue to knock down threes at the rate he has recently, his presence will at least fill part of the void presented by Frye’s departure.