NBA Free Agency: Analysis of Orlando Magic picking up Channing Frye

Channing Frye recovered from a heart condition to come back to the NBA this season, impressing upon his return.

The Orlando Magic continue their re-build by adding Channing Frye to their recent first round draft picks. Frye joins the Magic on a 4-year, $32 million contract, a significant pay day for a veteran of Frye’s status.


After flourishing early in his career with the New York Knicks, Frye struggled during 2 rough seasons in Portland before finding a home in Phoenix. Here Frye established himself as a stretch 4, taking over 4.0 3-point shots shots per game in every one of his last 4 seasons and never shooting below 34% from beyond the arc.

Frye fits nicely in Orlando as his shooting touch and ability to play at center provides Orlando with an intriguing frontcourt rotation next year. Nikola Vucevic is a highly talented young center with a great mid-range game and will start at the 5 for Orlando.

Pairing him with Frye will give the Orlando one of the best shooting frontcourts in the league allowing for some serious floor spacing as Vucevic and Frye can alternate stepping out of the lane. Then when we factor in young Aaron Gordon we can see that both Vucevic and Frye will complement his skill set nicely as he’s most definitely an around the rim prospect coming into the league.

Beyond the frontcourt we can see that Frye’s floor stretching shooting will open up the lane for young guards Victor Oladipo and Elfrid Payton to get to the rim, something that will be crucial for both these guards given their lack of a polished jumper.

While Frye fits well in Orlando, one must question whether he is worth the $8 million per year the Magic are paying him. Players with similar skill sets such as Spencer Hawes and Josh McRoberts have recently been picked up for far less than Frye will be receiving in Orlando and one can’t help but feel as though the Magic have missed a trick.

The Magic, however, are still well under the salary cap and overpaying Frye shouldn’t cost them a shot at any of the other free agents they might be going after. And while the price for Frye is steep, the Magic should be able to move his contract if need be.

Frye joins one of the league’s most intriguing rosters and seeing him forge part of the Magic’s new identity should be something to keep an eye on next year.