Channing Frye is one of the casualties of the deal between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Lakers hours before the February 8 trade deadline. The trade enables him to reunite with Luke Walton, who was his former teammate in the University of Arizona. However, his stint with the Lakers may not last long as Frye emerged as one of the potential buyout candidates.
Despite being a good locker room presence and backup big man, the Lakers don’t have the need to keep Channing Frye on their team. Joey Ramirez of NBA.com believes the 34-year-old center won’t receive playing time in Los Angeles, especially with the presence of Julius Randle, Brook Lopez, and Kyle Kuzma in the Lakers’ frontcourt. In the coming days, the Lakers may consider buying out Frye and let him join a contender as a free agent.
In an appearance on ESPN‘s trade deadline edition of the Jump (h/t Larry Brown Sports), NBA analyst Brian Windhorst said that there is still a question whether the Lakers and Frye will reach a buyout agreement. If the Lakers waive him, Windhorst believes the Golden State Warriors will be interested in signing the former Cavaliers center.
As of now, it remains questionable why the star-studded Warriors will still consider adding another big man on their team. They already have Zaza Pachulia as starting center and JaVale McGee and Jordan Bell to back him up.
However, it was not the first time the Warriors have been linked to rumors, stating their plan to improve their frontcourt. Before the February 8 NBA trade deadline, Ian Begley of ESPN reported the Warriors had expressed interest in acquiring Kyle O’Quinn of the New York Knicks. Unfortunately, with lack of trade assets, Golden State was unable to engage in a trade deal with the Knicks.
Luckily for the Warriors, several big men, like Channing Frye, are expected to be available in the buyout market soon. Unlike Pachulia, McGee, and Bell, Frye has the ability to space the floor, making him a perfect fit with the Warriors, who are sorely lacking shooting from the bench. In 44 games with the Cleveland Cavaliers this season, he’s averaging 33.3 percent from beyond the arc. Aside from Frye, the Warriors are also keeping an eye on Joe Johnson, according to Anthony Slater of the Athletic.