(J Alexander Diaz/Lakers.com)

Latest Laker: Channing Frye

by Joey Ramirez
Digital Reporter

Fifteen years after they were last teammates at the University of Arizona, Channing Frye and Luke Walton will be reunited on the Lakers.

L.A. acquired Frye, Isaiah Thomas and a 2018 first-round pick from Cleveland on Thursday, in exchange for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr.

While the focus of the deal is largely on the Lakers opening up cap space, acquiring a draft pick and adding Thomas (a reigning two-time all-star), Frye has been solid in limited minutes for the Cavaliers this year.

As playing time had diminished for the 34-year-old (in the final year of his contract), his averages neared career-lows, putting up only 4.8 points and 2.5 rebounds in 12.4 minutes for the defending Eastern Conference champs.

But Frye was effective in spurts and likely won’t see a ton of court time on the Lakers, whose front-court rotation is filled mostly by Julius Randle, Brook Lopez and Kyle Kuzma.

One of the NBA’s original stretch bigs, Frye has almost exclusively played on the perimeter this season, with jump shots accounting for 73 percent of his attempts.

But he has good feel for when to slip a pick, and has shot 26-of-31 on layups (83.9 percent). Part of the reason for this success stems from defenses concerned about his proficiency when popping out for 3-pointers.

He is averaging 1.39 points per possession in pick-and-rolls (or -pops), which places him in the league’s 91st percentile.

He is shooting an average 33.3 percent from 3-point range, but that number swells up when setting a pick.

His mid-range touch has also been excellent in a small sample size (57.6 percent; 19-of-33).

In his 12th NBA season, Frye isn’t much of a defensive presence and is at his best providing spacing on offense.

Still, he is shooting a career-best 49.7 percent from the field and, according to Walton, his new coach, promises to have a positive impact in the locker room.

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