While the Phoenix Suns have made it very clear that re-signing Eric Bledsoe and P.J. Tucker are at the top of their wish list this offseason, retaining the services of veteran forward Channing Frye is also a stated priority.
After missing all of 2012-13 due to an enlarge heart, Frye became the only Sun to not only play but start all 82 games this season, averaging in 11.2 points and 5.1 rebounds per game in the process.
But the Suns don’t necessarily have all the control when it comes to a potential return.
Frye signed a five-year, $30 million contract back in July 2010, however the 30-year-old holds a player option for the fifth year worth $6.8 million.
So the question is, will he pick it up this summer?
“I don’t know, you’d have to ask Channing,” Suns general manager Ryan McDonough told Arizona Sports 98.7 FM’s Burns & Gambo Wednesday. “We’d like to have him back either way. If he picks up the option, that’s great.
It’s remarkable. He’s going to be the one guy who is going to start every game for us this year.”
While Frye has certainly endured his fair share of shooting slumps this season, the mere fact that he was able to make a full return to the court was a victory in and of itself.
Additionally, the stretch four proved to be an important figure in Phoenix’s locker room, providing leadership and guidance to a roster filled with young blood.
“Obviously, you’re well aware of the uncertainty going into even training camp,” said McDonough. “We found out a day or two before training camp that he was going to be cleared to play. None of us knew how long it would take him to get in shape. He hadn’t played in a year-and-a-half, and then comes up against Portland in the preseason and hits five threes. He then becomes our starter on Opening Night.
“It’s been a remarkable recovery for him, and obviously it goes beyond basketball. We’re just happy that he’s healthy and proud of the year he’s had.”