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Frye with the Phoenix Suns in 2011
Frye with the Phoenix Suns in 2011

Channing Thomas Frye (born May 17, 1983) is an American former professional basketball player. A power forwardcenter, he played college basketball for the University of Arizona. He was drafted eighth overall by the New York Knicks in the 2005 NBA draft, and was the first college senior to be selected in that draft. He has also played for the Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic, Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers, and won an NBA Championship with the Cavaliers in 2016.

High school career

Frye attended St. Mary's High School in Phoenix, Arizona where he was rated as the No. 98 recruit in the nation by Hoop Scoop and the No. 13 center in the country by Fast Break Recruiting Service. As a junior in 1999–2000, he averaged 15 points, 12 rebounds, nine blocks and six assists per game for coach David Lopez as he led the team to a 26-7 record, a berth in the Class 5A state tournament semi-finals and a No. 19 national ranking by USA Today.[1]

As a senior in 2000–01, Frye averaged 22 points, 15 rebounds, six blocks and three assists per game and he led St. Mary's to the 2001 Class 5A state championship with a 30-3 record. He was subsequently named Player of the Year by the Arizona Republic and the Arizona Gatorade Player of the Year while earning fourth-team Parade All-America and McDonald's All-America honors.[1]

College career

As a freshman at Arizona in 2001–02, Frye was a key contributor for the Wildcats as he started 25 of 34 games after working his way into the starting lineup by late December and stayed there for the rest of the season. He earned Pac-10 All-Freshman team honors after averaging 9.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 23.9 minutes per game.[1]

As a sophomore in 2002–03, Frye was an honorable mention All-Pac-10 selection and earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors on February 27, 2003 following a win over Arizona State. In 32 games (27 starts), he averaged 12.6 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in 25.4 minutes per game.[1]

As a junior in 2003–04, Frye earned first-team All-Pac-10 and USBWA All-District 9 team honors. In 30 games (all starts), he averaged 15.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 2.1 blocks in 30.3 minutes per game.[1]

As a senior in 2004–05, Frye received the University of Arizona's Sapphire Award, which is given to the outstanding senior male student-athlete. He also earned the 2004–05 Pacific-10 Conference Sportsmanship Award. For a second consecutive year, he earned first-team All-Pac-10 and USBWA All-District 9 team honors, as well as first-team NABC All-NCAA District 15 selection. In 37 games (all starts), he averaged 15.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 2.3 blocks in 31.0 minutes per game.[1]

Frye finished his four-year career at Arizona with eight double-doubles in 12 NCAA Tournament appearances while registering 93 double-figure-point and 35 double-figure-rebound games.[1]

Professional career

Frye was selected with the eighth overall pick in the 2005 NBA draft by the New York Knicks.[2] He scored a season-high 30 points twice during the 2005–06 season. On March 21, 2006, he sprained his left knee ligament in a game against the Toronto Raptors when Raptors guard Andre Barrett lost his balance and smashed his shoulder into Frye's knee, causing Frye to miss the rest of the season.[3]

During the 2006–07 season, power forward David Lee led the team in rebounding and field goal percentage, and was statistically superior to Frye in almost every category, but Isiah Thomas, until February 3, 2007, kept Frye in the starting lineup. Thomas' rationale was that Frye is a superior perimeter shooter, and his perimeter shooting would make it harder for teams to double team Knicks leading scorer Eddy Curry. On February 3, in a game against the Orlando Magic, Thomas took Frye out of the starting lineup and replaced him with little-used center, Jerome James. James had only appeared in 19 of the Knicks' 48 games, and averaged 2.7 points and 1.9 rebounds in those games. Thomas explained the change, saying, "I think Jerome is one of the best defensive big men in the game in terms of the center position."[4] Frye was selected to the 2005–06 NBA All-Rookie first team, and finished fifth in points (45) behind Chris Paul (58), Charlie Villanueva (56), Andrew Bogut (55), and Deron Williams (46).

On June 28, 2007, Frye was traded, along with Steve Francis, to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Zach Randolph, Fred Jones and Dan Dickau.[5] Frye wore jersey No. 44 after wearing No. 7 with the Knicks, as guard Brandon Roy already wore No. 7 for the Trail Blazers. As a back-up center in 2007–08, Frye averaged 6.8 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.

In September 2008, Frye had surgery to remove bone spurs from his left ankle.[6] He went on to serve as a back-up once again in 2008–09 as he averaged a career-low 4.2 points and 2.2 rebounds per game.

On July 14, 2009, Frye signed with the Phoenix Suns to a reported two-year, $3.8 million contract with an option on the second year.[7] In February 2010, Frye was selected to the NBA All-Star Weekend Three-Point Shootout, becoming the first center invited since Sam Perkins in 1997.[8]

After not taking up his contract option, Frye signed a new five-year, $30 million contract with the Suns on July 8, 2010.[9]

During the summer of 2012, Frye was screened at a regular team physical screening, and learned he had an enlarged heart via dilated cardiomyopathy, forcing him to sit out the entire 2012–13 season.[10] As a result, Frye filled in as a broadcaster during pre-game shows for the Suns, starting with the November 2 home game against the Detroit Pistons. To recover from his heart defect, he took up yoga and golf, later on enduring more basketball related challenges like running and mid-range shooting. He was cleared to play for the Suns before the team's 2013 training camp practices began on August 30. He made his return on October 9, 2013 in the 104-98 preseason win over the Portland Trail Blazers. He made his first regular season return on October 30, 2013 in the 104-91 win over the Trail Blazers.[11]

On June 23, 2014, Frye opted-out of the final year of his contract with the Suns.[12]

On July 14, 2014, Frye signed with the Orlando Magic to a reported four-year, $32 million contract.[13][14] His first season with the Magic was disappointing on the court, as Frye averaged his lowest point and rebound totals per game since his final season in Portland.

On February 18, 2016, Frye was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Jared Cunningham and a future second-round pick.[15] Acquired for his ability to stretch the floor and his outside shooting, Frye, in just his second game as a Cavalier on February 24, hit four three-pointers and finished with 15 points off the bench in a 114–103 win over the Charlotte Hornets.[16] In the Cavaliers' 2016 second round playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks, Frye helped the team go up 3–0 with 27 points on 10-of-13 shooting, including 7-of-9 from three-point range, in a Game 3 win.[17] The Cavaliers went on to sweep the Hawks and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. There he helped the Cavaliers defeat the Toronto Raptors in six games. Frye's role in the NBA Finals was reduced, as he played minor minutes over the first four games, before failing to appear in the following three games. Despite being down 3–1 following a Game 4 loss to the Golden State Warriors, the Cavaliers went on to win the series in seven games

On November 13, 2016, Frye scored a season-high 20 points in the Cavaliers' 100–93 win over the Charlotte Hornets.[18] On February 14, 2017, following the announcement that Kevin Love would be out for six weeks with an injury, Frye started in his place and had 21 points and 10 rebounds in a 116–108 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.[19] Frye helped the Cavaliers go 12–1 over the first three rounds of the 2017 playoffs to once again reach the NBA Finals, where they lost in five games to the Golden State.

On February 8, 2018, the Cavaliers traded Frye, Isaiah Thomas and a 2018 first-round draft pick to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr.[20]

On July 19, 2018, Frye signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers, returning to the franchise for a second stint.[21] On March 1, 2019, he announced that the 2018–19 season would be his last in the NBA.[22]

Career statistics

Personal life

Frye is the son of the late Thomas Frye and the late Karen Mulzac-Frye.[23] Fellow NBA player and former teammate, Tobias Harris, is Frye's cousin.[24] His grandfather, John Mulzac, was a member of the Tuskegee Airmen.[25][26]

Frye and his wife, Lauren (née Lisoski), have 4 children.[27][28]

In 2007, Frye established The Channing Frye Foundation. The foundation was founded with the goal of pointing youth in a positive and healthy direction. In 2010, Frye and his wife established The Frye Family Foundation in order to give back to the communities that are important to the Fryes, in particular, Portland, Oregon and Phoenix.[29] Frye also sponsors a charity kickball tournament in Portland.[30]

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