Free agency beckons, of course, but the Sonics also have 3 draft picks in the upcoming Stern-a-thon. Who should they take? Should they trade the picks? Does this column have any upside? These are the questions you need to know. I thought I’d take this opportunity to start looking at some of the players the Sonics could possibly pick.
CHANNING FRYE – PF/C
Ht: 6’11” Wt: 250 Age: 22
Frye is long-limbed, fast for a big man, and relatively agile, making him an effective player on the fast break and in blocking shots (at least at the NCAA level). Combined with the ability to hit a 15-footer, Frye is a more than capable offensive player for a big man. Further, his jump hook is a potent weapon that can score in any league. Add in an 80% rate at the line, a seemingly calm, professional demeanour, a history of playing in front of big crowds and in big games, and Frye seems to be the whole enchilada. Husky fans will no doubt remember his 30-point outing against the Dawgs last February in Seattle, although they’ll probably remember UW’s 93-85 win even more. You also have to like that he’s played well in the tourney, consistently getting double-doubles in the best competition the NCAA has to offer.
The negative is that Frye is relatively lean, and may not be able to bang with NBA centers. Built more like Keon Clark and Chris Bosh, Frye is going to struggle to score in the post when people like Jerome James, Greg Ostertag, Shaq, etc. start shoving. Frye has been able to get away with using his height to get rebounds in college – that won’t work in the NBA, where people like Reggie Evans will give up their first-born son for a board. Labeled as “soft” throughout his tenure at ‘Zona, Frye will have to work hard to overcome that adjective. As draftcity.com mentions, it’s hard to figure exactly how he’s going to score and who he’s going to guard. Likewise, knickerblogger’s comment that Frye’s a “tweener” is apt.
To me, Frye would work best as part of a Twin Towers set-up, alongside a 7-footer with some heft. With the Sonics, Frye would likely be paired with Collison, Fortson, or Radmanovic (assuming the roster stays somewhat intact, a dubious assumption). None of those combinations is good for Seattle, since it leaves nobody to cover the big man down low. In an offense like the Kings’ or Suns’, Frye could be an effective player, but not on the Sonics. He’s not worth a 1st-round pick to Seattle, who would be better off looking for someone with more heft. After all, don’t we already have a thin 7-footer taking up space on the bench?