On paper, the Orlando Magic are counting on Channing Frye to stretch the floor, complement Aaron Gordon at that spot, and provide some of that veteran presence the Magic are counting on if they are going to make the playoffs.
The reality is he can be had in a trade. Cheap.
The corpse of Brendan Haywood left behind a $10.5 million trade exception, and the Cavs can trade a future first-rounder that would almost certainly become a 2018 pick.3 That’s enough to start talks for someone like Davis once he becomes trade-eligible on December 15, or even Markieff Morris if he pipes up again. Sources around the league say Channing Frye is available now for very little, though Magic officials deny it. Other names will hit the market, but while the salary of someone like Kenneth Faried doesn’t quite fit the exception, how much would Denver really demand to dump J.J. Hickson into it?
The reality is Frye fits a role in the NBA, but mostly as a stretch five off the bench. He’s no starter at the four because he can’t defend that spot, but in a limited role off the bench — playing pick-and-pop near the top of the key where he can set up for his best shot — he has value.
Right now, no team has stepped forward to grab him. Just wait. Teams are an injury — or a dose of reality about a guy they thought was improving — from calling Orlando to gauge a price.
Keep Frye on your trade watch list.