We got a hold of Ben over at Blazer's Edge for a little Q&A regarding the Suns new acquisition Channing Frye to see what we were getting as our newest Sun. Thanks to both Ben and Phoenix Stan for assisting:
Q: How do you foresee Frye performing in an uptempo system like the Suns?
A: When healthy he is agile and quick for a player of his size. He's a hard worker and shouldn't have a problem keeping up. He has pretty good hands and that's always nice for a running big man. But given the other offensive options that Steve Nash has I don't anticipate Frye being option A, B, or C very often. But maybe D.
Q: We obviously know a little bit about Channing Frye-he's got a great attitude, he's a hustler, and has pretty good range for a big man. But tell us more about him defensively. Can he hang with the big boys of the NBA at the 5?
A: No. Not really. Frye is very long but he's not a shot blocker at all and he often struggles to keep his man from establishing deep post position. He does better on the perimeter guarding face-the-basket Power Forwards as, when healthy, he's pretty solid moving laterally and challenging shots. He works hard on the glass but doesn't have a real knack or nose for rebounding (at least he didn't show it in Portland... although one could argue he never had an opportunity to do so) and gets muscled around by more physical players. If he's playing heavy minutes at five plan to lose the rebounding differential on many nights.
Q: Was LaMarcus Aldridge's play the main reason for Frye not getting the minutes in Portland, or were there other deficiencies in his game the kept him on the bench?
A: There was a lot of overlap between Aldridge's skillset and Frye's skillset so that was the main reason. Almost everything Frye does well, Aldridge does better; everything Frye does poorly, Aldridge does better. LaMarcus was quite durable this year and Nate tried to use him at times when Brandon was not in the game to get him more looks, so that squeezed Frye out of the rotation. Also Oden and Przbyilla both demanded minutes and that really marginalized Frye further.
Frye never proved to be much of a defensive or rebounding force. On a Nate McMillan team, particularly last year's team with its methodical pace, that was just a death sentence for his playing time.
Q: Amare Stoudemire has stated that Shaq often took up too much of his space for him to be effective last season. Assuming Amare is still with the Suns this season, how do you forsee Frye and he co-existing?
A: Frye prefers an outside game, relying on 15-20 foot face-up jumpers and succeeding in pick and pop situations. I think you'll see Amar'e's rebounding numbers on both ends go up without Shaq in the mix. His offensive output will probably need to increase as well, as Frye doesn't really provide the junk points around the basket that Shaq does. It will probably be about 2.5 weeks into training camp before Amar'e will wish he had Shaq back; although maybe STAT will prefer his stats over additional frontcourt depth, I'm not sure.
Q: Frye has a reputation throughout the league for being soft or passive. Is that fair?
Q: Frye also has a reputation for being a bit...quirky. What's that all about?
A: Read through his blog's archive: ChanningFrye.com/blog. Plenty of material in there. He's a very intelligent, well-spoken, funny person. The life of the party; the light in the media room. Always ready with a quip. Dances to the beat of his own drummer. Not caught up in the life of being a professional basketball player. Here's a great piece on Frye: http://wweek.com/editorial/3507/12013/