The Orlando Magic continued their efforts to retool their roster on Monday, signing versatile free-agent big man Channing Frye to a four-year contract worth $32 million.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported the news, noting in a subsequent report that the Phoenix Suns wanted to retain Frye but that the offer to take his talents elsewhere was supreme:
Channing Frye has agreed to a four-year, $32 million deal with the Magic, source tells Yahoo Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 7, 2014
Frye replied to a fan's welcome, confirming that he indeed would be landing in Orlando:
Drastic change is necessary in Orlando to supply the Magic fanbase with legitimate playoff hopes for the 2014-15 NBA season. Adding Frye to the mix is the latest splash general manager Rob Hennigan and Co. have made.
As SI.com's Rob Mahoney points out in his analysis, there is still plenty of opportunity to upgrade Orlando's personnel:
Orlando, even after splurging a bit on Channing Frye and Ben Gordon, is still well below the cap. Plenty of room to play with.— Rob Mahoney (@RobMahoney) July 7, 2014
With specific regard to Frye, he brings a unique added element to the Magic frontcourt, which already features a promising building block at center in Nikola Vucevic.
Although Orlando selected Aaron Gordon with the fourth overall pick in the recent draft, he is still a raw player with just one year of collegiate experience and enters the Association as more of a defensive specialist. Frye is a rare stretch 4 who has the size to play center and can stroke it from beyond the arc.
How do you feel about the Magic signing Channing Frye?
The Magic were tied for 19th in three-point shooting percentage last season and were 25th in the league in scoring. Considering how weak the Eastern Conference is, Frye figures to light it up even more than he did in four previous seasons with the Suns in the West.
Frye and fellow free-agent acquisition Ben Gordon should bolster the Magic's offense, but perhaps the most compelling part about bringing in Frye is how he'll coexist with new point guard Elfrid Payton.
With the way Payton can slash to the rim and open up opportunities for his teammates, Orlando had to be intrigued at the limitless possibilities that Payton and Frye could set up off of pick-and-roll situations. Combine that with the continual development of 2013 top draft pick Victor Oladipo, and the Magic suddenly look poised for a big jump next season.
Of course, all the promising pieces Orlando has in place have to mesh on the court. At this point in the offseason, every franchise feels it is improving, but given how valuable Frye's size and finesse on the perimeter are for a team that struggles to score, he has to be viewed as an excellent signing for what the Magic need.