Free agent center Channing Frye has agreed to a 4yr/$32M deal with the Orlando Magic. Frye, a former Trail Blazer, had been a free agent of interest in Portland prior to the Chris Kaman signing. The contract he will receive in Orlando is much better than anything Portland could have hoped to offer with their mid-level exception. Chris Haynes of CSNNW confirmed that Frye was out of the Trail Blazers’ price range when the team met with him last week.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 5, 2014
An $8M per season contract may seem a bit steep for a middling big man, and it is, but conditions were just right for this deal to be mutually beneficial for Frye and Orlando. The salary cap floor (minimum payroll for a team) is set at 90 percent of the salary cap. The Magic already had most of their roster slots filled, but were far from the minimum due to their star-less lineup. After Frye, their next highest paid player is second-year man Victor Oladipo ($5M in 2014-2015), still in his rookie contract (as are all of their starters). Frye’s contract will help them reach the cap floor while also adding stability to a fairly expendable cast.
At 31 years old, Frye is 8-10 years older than most of his new teammates—13 for the freshly drafted forward Aaron Gordon, who is still only 18 years old. The Magic desperately needed a veteran presence on the team after waiving longtime point guard Jameer Nelson and trading Arron Afflalo back to the Denver Nuggets. Frye happened to more or less suit their needs as one of the best available big men on the market. Although the Magic are paying through the nose for his services, this deal makes sense. Good for Frye. Keep gettin’ dem checks.