Channing Frye was a big part of the success the Suns experienced last season.
While posting averages of 11.1 points and 5.1 rebounds in 28.2 minutes per contest as a member of the team’s starting lineup for all 82 regular season games, Frye’s ability to space the floor and be a big screener for his guards on the perimeter was a critical part of the 48-win season that Phoenix put together a season ago, and now seems light years away.
Frye was a free agent last summer, and signed a four-year deal with the Magic worth $32 million which was believed by many to be a slight overpay on Orlando’s part. It was also assumed that the Suns felt the same way, since they didn’t bother trying to match — but the team’s owner says they never really got the chance.
Sarver also said Frye didn’t give the Suns an opportunity to match Orlando’s four-year contract offer.
“To be honest with you, we didn’t really even have a chance,” Sarver told the radio station. “He had mentioned he was interested in coming back, and then when he was talking to Orlando, he just called and said, ‘Hey, you’ve got three minutes to match this offer.’
“And we just let him go. To be honest with you, Channing was a good piece of what we did, but I think we’re better off now without him because it allows these younger guys to play.”
Frye, however, said that wasn’t exactly the case.
“I think we have to take what that front office says with a grain of salt,” Frye told reporters on Tuesday. “I think right now they need to focus on their own team. I think we had many negotiations between [us and] the Suns.”
This is worth pointing out because it’s the second time in the last couple of weeks that a member of the Suns has gotten into a public disagreement with one of the team’s former players.
Goran Dragic came out publicly and said he didn’t trust the front office anymore, and wouldn’t re-sign in Phoenix as a free agent this summer — which forced the team to trade him before the deadline passed. The Suns front office fired back at him, essentially saying he was selfish for putting his own needs ahead of the team’s.
All of this seems unnecessary on the Suns part. While the access that ownership and the front office provide is great for fans interested in the team’s thought process behind personnel decisions, taking the high road instead of slamming former players would seem like a better way to go, especially as free agents look at the organization as a whole before deciding where to play next.