The Los Angeles Lakers are really going to head into next season with JaVale McGee starting at center and Ivica Zubac as their primary backup at that position. Moe Wagner might really have to play consistent minutes as a rookie on a LeBron James team. That’s certainly a decision.
Channing Frye seemed like a great fit in the rotation, but according to Shams Charania of Yahoo! Sports, that option is off the table now.
Free agent Channing Frye has agreed to a one-year, $2.4M deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers, league sources tell Yahoo.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 14, 2018
It’ll be interesting to see how this played out behind the scenes. Maybe Magic Johnson, Rob Pelinka and the rest of the basketball operations team really thinks the aforementioned rotation is enough to get by in the modern NBA. Perhaps Frye was never really seen as an option.
One thing that those who are confident in the way the roster has played out since LeBron James signed have pointed to is his ability to play the five as kind of a Draymond Green on steroids offensively (though definitely not on defense, which he hasn’t cared about the regular season in a while).
It’s a good thought, though I’d point out to those hoping for this how reluctant James has been to play the four for long stretches, let alone the five.
If he is open to that kind of role, then the centers behind him don’t necessarily matter as much. Traditional big men are being phased out of the game and if LeBron is going to play center, it makes sense to surround him with as much length and versatility on defense as possible (hello, David Nwaba).
Ideally, the Lakers could’ve added both a Nwaba type and Frye, but seeing as they only have one roster spot open at this junction, their options were limited. As has been the case with all other moves this offseason, we’ll just have to wait and see how everything plays out.