October 30, 2009. The Phoenix Suns in the second game of the season beat Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors and strongly 123 - 101. The story of this game was the emergence of Channing Frye after hitting a barrage of threes, 6 of 7 to be exact. No one expected Frye to then shoot 392 threes making a rediculous 172 that year after never shooting more than 33 Triples in a single year throughout his first four in the NBA.
The eighth overall pick of the 2005 draft went on winning Suns fans hearts the next year hitting 171 threes on 439 attempts. A few injuries here and there were hampering in 2011-12 such as a torn labrum that ended his season. His stats overall took a hit as a result, Frye would finish having hit 91 0f 263 from beyond 3 Point Land. Then of course he was lost for the entire 2012-2013 season with an enlarged heart.
Surprisingly to all perhaps even himself, he would start all 82 games in the 2013-2014 Season. A fine year indeed when compared to his career stats . Frye looked as good as new after a slightly slow and an admittedly rusty start. In 2014 Channing Frye would end up with stats nearly identical to his first year with the club, scoring 0.1 pts less, with 0.2 fewer rebounds and 0.2 less assists. It was apparent however that toward the end of the year when the Suns were desperate for scoring help Channing's shot was no where to be found.
In step the Morris Twins, the true reason for this fan post. Many had written Marcus off after a less than stellar stint with the Houston Rockets. It was obvious the Suns had done their homework when deciding between the Kansas star twins. We can see now the difference in his game playing with Markieff in Phoenix. Undoubtedly Coach Hornecek's offense scheme has played its part...see Gerald Green ($3.5 million next year).
Enjoy a quick reminder of the budding success the Twins have enjoyed together specifically against the 2014 World Champions Spurs:
No one doubts Marcus' arrow is pointing up, but is he ready yet to take Fryes minutes? Lets ask the stats. In 2014 Frye produced 11.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg, and 1.2 apg with a PER of 13.26. Marcus on the other hand saw his ppg rise a full four points to 9.7 ppg with 3.9 rpg, 1.1 apg and a PER of 14.89. It would seem Channing has a slight statistical edge until you consider the fact that he played 6.2 minutes more per game and worse is making more than double the amount is salary this upcoming season.
Frye's $6,800,000 is less than one millon fewer than Goran Dragic's $7,500,000 next year. If that sits well with you, it shouldn't. From a finacial stand point, getting ready to pay Bledsoe, Dragic, Tucker, and Kevin Love (or another superstar) will force us to make unpopular decisions. Frye's contract and playing time are the first problems that need to be rectified. I come to you with a plan instead of only complaints:
Step 1: Force Channing Frye to accept a minimum 50 % pay cut to stay with team. If he agrees he is also reduced to a bench player role fortifying the Suns bench.
-Unfortunately we have seen the ceiling of this player. He has never averaged more than 12.7 ppg or 6.7 rpg. These stats are not that of a starting PF that is going to take you deep into the playoffs.
Step 2: Insert Markieff Morris into the starting lineup.
-His time has come.
Step 3: Swap Marcus and Channing's minutes (assuming Frye accepts pay cut).
-This gives the twins more time on court together where they flourish. It also allows Marcus more of a chance to follow his brothers footsteps in taking his game to its next level.
If succesful the Suns will be able to play small and fast without sacrificing any of P.J. Tucker or Gerald Green's minutes. Drafting a player like Doug McDermott is now more feasable without the logjam at SF created by trying to fit Marcus' minutes inat PF. Consider as well that Channing Frye as a third option at PF/C is just good old fashioned depth.