Channing Frye was one of many pleasant surprises for the Suns this year, returning after having missed all of 2012/13 with an enlarged heart to play, and start, every one of Phoenix’s games so far in 2013/14. Frye has a player option worth $6.8MM for next season, the final one on his contract, but he’d like to remain with the Suns for longer than that, telling Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic that he wants to discuss an extension with the team.
“I want to talk to the Suns and make sure we’re both on the same page about what I want,” said Frye, who grew up in Phoenix and went to college at the University of Arizona. “I’d love to stay here. It’s up to them and their future and what they want to do. I love wearing this uniform. I think I take a little more pride in it than everyone else because I’m from here. It’s looking for the future and if I could get something longer. I got kids and I want to be somewhere. I’ve been here for five years already so it wouldn’t be bad to kind of not be worried about being traded or buying a house.”
The Landmark Sports Agency client is eligible to sign an extension immediately, but it seems more likely that he’d do so in July after opting in, since that would allow the extension to run through 2017/18 rather than end a year earlier. If Frye opts out and signs an extension before July, the salary in the first year of the extension can’t be any less than what he’d make next season if he opts in. Otherwise, he can make anywhere from the minimum salary to 107.5% of his previous salary in the first season of an extension.
Veterans don’t often sign extensions in part because they can start out at no more than 107.5% of what they were making, though perhaps Frye, who turns 31 next month, wants to hedge against a decline in play, particularly given his medical history. Starting power forwards who can stretch the floor the way Frye does are usually worth salaries of greater than $7MM on the open market, so it seems there’s a decent chance that Suns GM Ryan McDonough and company will share his enthusiasm about an extension.