With health bodies hard to come by over the last few weeks, the Los Angeles Lakers will be delighted to hear that veteran forward Channing Frye is just weeks away from returning to the floor.
According to Spectrum SportsNet’s Mike Bresnahan, Frye has been cleared for “on-court non-contact” drills and will be re-evaluated in one week. Frye underwent an appendectomy in mid-February, a procedure that involves the removal of the appendix.
The Lakers acquired Frye in the Isaiah Thomas trade at the deadline, along with Cleveland’s top-three protected 2018 first-round pick. While 34-year-old Frye isn’t expected to be part of the Lakers’ long-term plans, he can help contribute right away while he is with the team.
Frye is a career 38.8 percent shooter from behind the arc and is as a reliable free throw shooter as they come, shooting over 80 percent from the charity stripe in each of the last five seasons. That’s big for the Lakers, who are the worst free throw shooting team in the NBA despite averaging 23.3 per game, tied for the seventh-most in the league.
He’s also regarded as one of the best locker room guys around. So much so that Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue was reportedly against packaging him in a deal for George Hill.
Frye will miss games against two of his former teams, the Orlando Magic and the Cavaliers, but could be back for the Lakers’ matchup against the Warriors at Oracle Arena on March 14. Until then, head coach Luke Walton will continue to work with the depth he has at power forward position with Julius Randle, Kyle Kuzma and Travis Wear.
All stats were provided by stats.nba.com unless otherwise noted.