One of the oddest parts of the sports world is the expectation that professional athletes take hometown discounts. Recently Dirk Nowitzki was applauded for doing so to help the Dallas Mavericks sign free agents like Chandler Parsons, meanwhile Carmelo Anthony has been criticized for taking a max-deal that isn’t as forgiving to the New York Knicks’ cap situation.
Former Phoenix Suns big man Channing Frye left in free agency to sign a four-year, $32-million deal with the Orlando Magic, instead of taking a hometown discount to stay in Arizona. In Frye’s case, a hometown discount meant a lot more than just cutting the team that you played for last season a break. Frye grew up in Phoenix and attended the University of Arizona before being drafted in 2005.
“The question I always ask is ‘would you take a hometown discount?’” Frye told Burns and Gambo Wednesday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, via Vince Marotta for ArizonaSports.com. “People say that, it’s just absolutely ridiculous. Because the thing that happens is someone takes a discount. Let’s say the market says they’re worth $10 million and they take $5 million. The next day they get traded, so they’re like ‘well dang, why did I take $5 million if you’re just going to trade me?’
“Think about it, our careers are short-lived. So why not go somewhere where you’re going to be extremely appreciated, where you’re going to be part of the future? People just say ‘take a discount,’ why? I’m 31. Why would I do that? I’m not asking for $15 million a year — I’m not crazy. The market dictated what was going on and I took the best deal.”
Hard to argue with Frye’s logic, especially when considering that last season he bounced back from a serious heart issue that kept him out of the entire 2012-13 campaign.