Since the Los Angeles Lakers acquired him at the 2018 NBA trade deadline, Channing Frye hasn’t been able to do a ton to help the team on the court.
Frye played just 11 minutes in one game against the New Orleans Pelicans before requiring an appendectomy during the All-Star break that sidelined him for over a month. Frye is available to return Thursday night against the Pelicans.
But just because Frye hasn’t made much of an impact on the court doesn’t mean he hasn’t liked his time in Los Angeles. In similar fashion to Isaiah Thomas, the veteran big man has expressed an interest to remain with the team beyond this season.
That includes Frye being willing to recruit former teammate LeBron James and any other free agents the Lakers may pursue, according to tBill Oram of the Southern California News Group:
With just 12 games remaining in the regular season, Frye said he wants to see where he “could fit in for the future.” If it’s with the Lakers, he also can envision himself serving as a bit of a matchmaker.
“I think a lot of vets are going to ask me how it is,” Frye said. “They’re going to ask I.T. (Isaiah Thomas) how it is.”
And yes, if his former teammate James is the target, Frye will happily make a phone call.
“I’ll make a call to Jesus if I have to,” Frye said, “if that’s going to help get a win.”
A call to Jesus might be necessary to land James given that most reporting has still pegged him joining the Lakers as “a long shot,” and how much Frye could actually help is unknown.
James surely respects the longtime teammate who was critical in helping the Cavaliers turn their season around and win a title two seasons ago. But he likely is not going to make his free agency decision based on where Frye lands. (After all, this isn’t James Jones we’re talking about).
But while Frye’s presence surely won’t be the deciding factor for James, a friendly face can’t hurt the Lakers’ cause. The team probably shouldn’t make their decision to re-sign Frye or not based on this, but if they want a veteran center, Frye’s ability to potentially help lure James isn’t a bad tiebreaker for his case to join the team over another break-glass-in-case-of-emergency option.