Back in the summer of 2011, Channing Frye was a free agent.
Coming off a season that saw him average 11.2 points and 5.3 rebounds per game while helping the Suns get to the Western Conference Finals, he had a considerable amount of leverage.
He parlayed that leverage into a five-year, $30 million contract that included a player option for the 2014-15 season.
Now it’s time for Frye to decide whether or not he wants to play next season with the Suns for $6.8 million or test the free agent waters.
“Of course, right now it’s not tough to say I want to be in Phoenix, but I don’t have to make this decision — and I just found this out — until the end of June,” Frye told Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Thursday. “So I have a lot of time to not only talk with the Suns and talk with my agent and my family.
“It’s not something that’s on my mind right now.”
Frye is coming off a surprising season of his own, starting all 82 games after missing the entire 2012-13 campaign due to a heart ailment. His averages of 11.1 points and 5.1 rebounds per game are about in line with what he did the last time he was up for a new contract, though his shooting percentage wasn’t quite as good.
Nevertheless, Suns GM Ryan McDonough has said the team would like to have the 30-year-old back next season, either to finish out the remainder of his current contract or on a new deal signed this summer.
But Frye, who says he has a great relationship with the Suns’ front office, said he’s not ready to turn his attention to his contract yet.
“I’m really just soaking up this season and enjoying my time with my family,” he said. “But of course I want to come back. I think anybody who’s worked with an organization as awesome as the Suns, me being from Phoenix, loving the fans, loving the city and seeing where we’re going for the future, why would I not want to come (back)?”
Frye, though, said he understands the NBA is a business, acknowledging that everyone has to do what’s best for them with regards to his future, but professed confidence he has not played in a Suns uniform for the last time.
“Listen, I have no worries that we’re going to work it out and it’s going to be beneficial for both parties,” he said.
Frye intimated he would not decline the option unless a long-term deal was on the table, though he noted a lot goes into whether or not he’d want to be with the Suns for the long haul.
He said everything from the players on the team and its coach to the city where he’d be living are all factors.
“I haven’t really even thought about it because I haven’t looked at any other situation, I don’t know anything,” he said. “All I know is Phoenix, and so right now Phoenix is 100 percent my choice until something magically comes up.
“If nothing magically comes up then we have nothing to talk about.”