Crazy Contracts Part IV: Channing Frye receives “MEGA-deal”

Frye and the Orlando Magic have agreed to terms of a four-year, $32 million contract. Free agents are eligible to sign later this week. (I do not take credit for this photo)

I’m back at it again. After a few days off, the league has given me another thing to write about. This time it involves the Orlando Magic and they recent deal they made with Channing Frye.Coming into the league in 2005, Frye hardly shot three-pointers. In fact, he took a total of 70 three-pointers in his first four seasons. But over the past four seasons, Frye hasn’t been shy about putting it up from deep. He has attempted 1,526 three-pointers, giving him an average 3-point attempt rate of .518 during that span (3-point attempt rate is the percentage of a player’s field goal attempts from 3-point range). This past season, Frye ranked 16th in 3-PAr among players who played more than 1,000 minutes.

And now, to the contract part of this blog post. The Magic and Frye have agreed to a contract that will span four years and $32 million, giving Frye an average of $8 million per year. Frye is 31-years-old and missed all the 2012-2013 season because of a heart condition. Thankfully, he was able to return to action this past season, and had a solid season with the Phoenix Suns where he averaged 11.1 points and 6.5 rebounds per game, and shot 37% from the three-point line.

But for the Magic, a team that is clearly building for the future and after having drafted a power forward in the last month’s draft (Aaron Gordon), does signing Frye make much sense? I understand that Frye can play both the power forward and center positions on offense and defense, and will be used more for his ability to stretch the floor, but I don’t understand the thinking of the Magic organization here. Orlando won 23 games last season, and after having traded Arron Afflalo and releasing Jameer Nelson, is Frye really going to add that extra punch? Not to mention the team made a draft-night trade with the Philadelphia 76ers, obtaining the rights to Elfrid Payton, a one-way defensive-minded player.

I don’t understand the logic of throwing $8 million a year at a player who is older than 30 years of age for four years, who isn’t the playmaker that Boris Diaw is in San Antonio and has never won anything in his career, no offense to him AND can’t do much else but shoot. I can’t make sense of it.

Three-pointers have become a huge part of the NBA game, but Frye offers little to nothing else offensively or defensively. I think the Magic severely overpaid for an older player, and now he’ll be on a young team that won’t be contending in the Eastern Conference for another year or two.


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