To little surprise, Channing Frye didn’t have much of a tenure with the Los Angeles Lakers. The Cleveland Cavaliers traded Frye as well as Isaiah Thomas to the Lakers in exchange for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. at last season’s deadline.
Frye and Thomas were both on expiring contracts, and each moved on in free agency. Still, while his short stint saw him appear in only nine games, Frye became something of a mentor to the Lakers’ young players.
On the “Road Trippin’,” the podcast that Frye hosts with former NBA player Richard Jefferson, he complimented the young Lakers, but also pointed out an area that he considers a weakness for the team now that LeBron James has signed:
“They’re young guys are crazy talented. The only worry I have is, they don’t have a guy that’s not expected to play that is going to do the work. You need that one 15th man. You need a guy that is on par with your A1, that is working harder than him to do nothing. But that is respected and can hold people accountable.”
Frye had also admitted that he was hoping to return to the Lakers, so his comment here is a fairly transparent way of saying that what the Lakers need most is a player like him.
While he has a point that young teams do need veteran mentors who can show them how to be a professional athlete, including working hard even when you aren’t guaranteed any minutes on the court, Frye apparently was not part of their plans.
The Lakers filled their final guaranteed spot on the active roster by signing forward Michael Beasley, who is Frye’s junior by more than five years. In terms of a big man, JaVale McGee was signed to a one-year contract.
Plus, one can’t forget that the Lakers are already paying Luol Deng $18 million this season and he likely won’t see the floor, so the veteran mentor role at the end of the bench appears to be full.