With just 12 games left in the NBA regular season, the Los Angeles Lakers will soon get an early start to the offseason, barring a last-minute undefeated streak to close out the season. Even then, a 43-39 record likely doesn’t get them into the playoffs in the wild wild west considering the current No. 8 seed already has 40 wins.
For most of the players on this team, missing the playoffs is nothing new, but for guys like Channing Frye, who hasn’t missed the postseason in three years, an early end to the season can feel abnormal.
“This has been the first time that I’ve had a while to really work on some things,” Frye told Bill Oram of the OC Register.
Frye will likely spend the summer in sunny Los Angeles, CA getting ready for next season before hitting unrestricted free agency on July 1. At 34 years old, Frye isn’t expected to get any big money offers in free agency, but his combination of size and shooting is something contenders could always use to fill out the end of their bench.
The Lakers, in their current form, don’t necessarily qualify as contenders, but with a few big name acquisitions this summer, like a LeBron James and/or a Paul George, they could become legitimate playoff contenders overnight.
Frye believes the biggest selling point for Los Angeles in free agency is going to be the Lakers’ up and coming talent, who he said is “some of the best” in the league.
“I think you’re going to see a lot of guys this summer who want to play with Lonzo and Kuz and Brandon and guys that they have here and just build from that,” Frye said. “This is a pretty appealing place. It doesn’t hurt that it’s the Lakers and that these young guys are some of the best young guys in the NBA.”
“I think a lot of vets are going to ask me how it is,” Frye added. “They’re going to ask I.T. (Isaiah Thomas) how it is.”
One of the vets the Lakers are hoping Frye can have a hand in recruiting is none other than King James, who Frye spent the last three years with in Cleveland.
“I’ll make a call to Jesus if I have to,” Frye said, “if that’s going to help get a win.”
Frye is expected to make his second appearance for the Lakers Thursday against the New Orleans Pelicans after missing the last 14 games healing from an appendectomy he underwent in mid-February, per Oram.