Isaiah Thomas and the first-round draft pick the Los Angeles Lakers received from the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. have gotten most of the attention, but the team also received Channing Frye in that trade.
Frye, whose contract expires at the end of the season, has been (rightfully) mostly seen as salary ballast to make the transaction work, but as a seven-footer who can shoot a little bit from behind the arc, he could also theoretically help the Lakers on the court if pressed into action.
The veteran center hasn’t seen much of that since the trade, however, playing just 11 minutes in his one appearance against the New Orleans Pelicans since the trade deadline.
Frye might have played more than that if he hadn’t required an appendectomy during the All-Star break. He’s finally recovered enough to make a return to active duty against the New Orleans Pelicans, according to Bill Oram of the Southern California News Group:
Channing Frye will suit up tonight against the Pelicans. He hasn’t played since Feb. 14, also at New Orleans.
— Bill Oram (@billoram) March 22, 2018
After missing a month of action, it seems unlikely Frye will be in for a big role on the road in New Orleans, especially when considering that Brook Lopez and Travis Wear both also provide a similar stretch-big skillset and are much more ingratiated into the lineup.
Additionally, the Lakers also recalled Thomas Bryant from South Bay, and he’s available for Thursday’s game as well. However, Frye dressing is still good news for the Lakers if only because of how hard the injury bug has bit them recently.
And at the very least he’ll be available to sop up garbage time minutes if the game becomes a blowout in favor of either team at the end.