Cavaliers acquire Frye from Magic for Varejao

  • Associated Press
  • Thursday, February 18, 2016 2:45pm
  • SportsSports

CLEVELAND — Cavaliers general manager David Griffin dreaded making this phone call.

There’s nothing easy about chasing an NBA title.

Needing to add depth, defense and another piece to perhaps help the Cavs beat Golden State in June, Cleveland acquired forward Channing Frye from the Orlando Magic on Thursday in exchange for popular center Anderson Varejao in a three-team trade.

The Cavs, who begin the season’s unofficial second half with the best record in the Eastern Conference, sent Varejao and a protected future first-round draft pick to Portland for a second-round pick. The Cavs then traded that pick and guard Jared Cunningham to the Magic for Frye, who has some postseason experience and will give coach Tyronn Lue more options with his second unit — at both ends of the floor.

“We believe very strongly that we’ve added a player that’s a great fit for what we’re trying to do both on the court and off, both from a floor spacing standpoint, from a versatility defensively standpoint and frankly just in terms of knowing exactly what he needs to do and what his role is going to be,” said Griffin, who previously worked with Frye.

“I’ve been with Channing in the playoffs multiple times in Phoenix and I know what that looks like and our team is about to find out that he knows exactly how to do what we’re asking him to do and he’s going to do it very well.”

In addition to getting a quality player, the Cavs are expected to save more than $10 million in luxury taxes with the move.

Griffin said trading Varejao, a fan favorite for 12 seasons in Cleveland, was tormenting.

Vareajo, equally known for his hustle and hairstyle, was one of LeBron James’ most beloved teammates and “Wild Thing” had grown into a cult hero during his time with the Cavaliers. However, the 33-year-old Varejao’s playing time has dwindled significantly this season and he had all but dropped out of the rotation. He’s averaging just 2.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 10 minutes per game.

“He exemplified everything we want a Cavalier to be about,” Griffin said. “His diligence in getting back from injury year after year, his hard work, his effort, his intensity, those are things that are going to be remembered here and they are incredibly appreciated. It made this trade an incredibly difficult one to do from a human level in a real sense. It was as a very difficult phone call to have, there’s very little that I’ve enjoyed less in my professional career than letting him know that he was traded.”

Frye isn’t much of an upgrade over Varejao as he has averaged 5.2 points and 3.2 rebounds for the Magic. However, the 6-foot-11 Frye does have decent range and is shooting 40 percent on 3-pointers.

“He’s a floor-spacing shooter,” Griffin said. “He can guard both 4s and 5. His length will enable him to play some 5s that we may not have been playing currently as well. Again, we’re not getting him to be a defensive stopper. I don’t want to say that at all. But he has versatility there. This is not a non-defender. This is a very smart, team defensive player.

The 32-year-old Frye had his best seasons with the Suns, averaging career-bests of 12.7 points and 6.7 rebounds in 2010-11.

Because he plays so hard, Varejao has had injury problems in recent years. He’s owed $9.7 million this season and is set to make $9.3 million in 2016-17. The Blazers will reportedly waive him.

Griffin was willing accept any backlash in dealing Varejao in order to get the Cavs in better position to chase a championship after coming up short in 2015. Griffin fired coach David Blatt earlier this season despite the team’s success and he’s trying to find more help to get James the title he covets most.

“We hope it’s a piece that really furthers the cause,” Griffin said.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Montana State guard RaeQuan Battle celebrates after scoring against Kansas State during the first half of a first-round college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament on Friday, March 17, 2023, in Greensboro, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Community roundup: MP grad Battle ‘devastated’ by NCAA ruling

Plus, Jadyn Edwards joins New Mexico’s Hall of Honor, and Daniel Arias is back with the NFL’s Cardinals

Jackson’s Trey Hawkins drives to the hoop during the game against Arlington on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
GALLERY: Jackson boys top Arlington in season opener

Drew Pepin, Ryan Mcferran and Trey Hawkins key the win for the Timberwolves.

Prep roundup for Tuesday, Nov. 28

Prep roundup for Tuesday, Nov. 28: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba (11) makes a one-handed catch during an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers, Thursday, Nov. 23, 2023 in Seattle. The 49ers won 31-13. (AP Photo/Ben VanHouten)
Seahawks’ Smith-Njigba’s confidence ‘sky high’ ahead of Dallas homecoming

The rookie made a spectacular one-handed catch against San Francisco last week.

Washington State quarterback Cameron Ward (1) throws during warmups before an NCAA college football game against Washington, Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)
State Supreme Court puts Pac-12 ruling on hold

The University of Washington and the Pac-12 made the request after a lower court’s ruling gave Oregon State and Washington State control of the league.

Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (9) celebrates throwing a touchdown to wide receiver Rome Odunze (1) against Washington State during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)
No. 3 UW needs offense to start clicking again

The Huskies’ high-flying unit will be key in the Pac-12 title game against Oregon.

Lake Stevens’ Keagan Howard (80) scores during a Class 4A state semifinal game between Lake Stevens and Kamiakan at Lake Stevens High School in Lake Stevens, Washington on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023. Lake Stevens won, 48-7. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Lake Stevens advances to 4A state title game with rout of Kamiakin

The Vikings cruise past another playoff opponent en route to Husky Stadium.

Fall 2023 All-Wesco teams

All-league honors for boys tennis, cross country, football, volleyball, girls soccer and girls swim and dive.

Silvertips surge during eventful week

Everett sees its top defenseman return, trades for a forward and beats all three of its opponents, including Portland.

Prep roundup for Monday, Nov. 27

Prep roundup for Monday, Nov. 27: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (11) catches a pass for a touchdown during an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Thursday, Nov. 23, 2023 in Seattle. The 49ers won 31-13. (AP Photo/Ben VanHouten)
Seahawks face odd week with critical trip to Dallas on Thursday

Seattle is set to play a second straight Thursday night game for the first time in team history.

Lake Stevens’ Kolton Matson (12) moves with the ball during a game between Lake Stevens and Kennedy Catholic at Lake Stevens High School in Lake Stevens, Washington on Friday, Nov. 17, 2023. Lake Stevens won, 44-21. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Lake Stevens not looking past Kamiakin in state semifinals

The path through the playoffs has been quite different for the Vikings and their challenger.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.