The Phoenix Suns are going to be one of the worst teams in the league for the 2013-2014 NBA season. They know have exciting point guard Eric Bledsoe in tow, along with new general manager Ryan McDonough and new head coach Jeff Hornacek, but this team is projected by many to be the worst in the Western Conference this year.
Just because a team is bad, though, doesn’t mean that they can’t have a feel-good story to hang their hat on.
The Suns have just that coming into this season with the return of big man Channing Frye to NBA action. Frye missed all of last season as he was suffering from an enlarged heart. After going through treatments over the past year, though, Frye is healthy and ready to go for this season.
Hornacek chose to leave Frye on the bench in the Suns’ preseason opener against Israel’s Maccabi Haifa, but Frye finally returned to NBA action this past Wednesday against the Portland Trail Blazers. Despite not having played in so long, Frye looked like he hadn’t missed a beat, particularly offensively.
Frye played 16 minutes in his return and fit the role of the stretch-four beautifully. He finished the contest, a 104-98 victory for Phoenix, with 14 points on 5-6 shooting from the field and 3-4 shooting from beyond-the-arc. The 30-year-old also added one assist, one rebound in one steal in his limited action.
If Frye returns to form this season as he returns to the game of basketball, he could be a bright spot for a Suns team that won’t have many. His ability to stretch the floor on offense could help Bledsoe, who is at his best when attacking the rim, have more success getting into the lane and driving. If he succeeds, he could also be used as a valuable trade-chip for McDonough as he rebuilds this Suns franchise. Even if he is with the lowly Suns, it’s hard not to root for Frye in his comeback to the Association.