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Magic Agree To Four-Year, $32 Million Deal With Channing Frye

The Magic help fill their void for outside shooting by signing one of the league’s best stretch fours

The Orlando Magic made a surprising free agent signing on Monday when they agreed to a four-year, $32 million deal with Channing Frye, who was widely expected to sign with a contender. Frye had a great comeback year in 2013-14 after missing the 2012-13 season with a heart condition and just became the third veteran Orlando has signed since trading Arron Afflalo and waiving Jameer Nelson.

Having recently let Ryan Anderson go to New Orleans for four years and $34 million in a sign-and-trade for Gustavo Ayon in 2012, you’re not crazy if you’re sitting on your couch shaking your head wondering what Magic management is doing right now.

Still, I believe this is a solid snag for the up-and-coming Magic, as Frye will be able to provide veteran leadership, along with recent additions Ben Gordon and Willie Green. However, while Gordon will be looking to revive his career, Frye already accomplished that in 2013-14 and should be able to be a legitimate contributor immediately on a team that desperately needed some depth.

Adding career sharpshooters Frye and Gordon were also completely necessary moves after getting rid of their two best 3-point shooters from last season (Nelson and Afflalo, though Orlando did net Evan Fournier in exchange for AA).

Getting rid of Nelson and Afflalo and bringing in Frye, Gordon and Green in my opinion indicates that Magic GM Rob Hennigan and I share the same belief—that Victor Oladipo is going to be a star shooting guard in the NBA. Whether Elfrid Payton’s near triple-double in his second summer league game is a sign of things to come or not, Henningan believes he’s found his Magic-man whom he’s ready to begin a real rebuild around in Oladipo.

Will Orlando be an Eastern Conference contender in 2014-15 with a team featuring Oladipo, Nikola Vucevic, Tobias Harris, Aaron Gordon, Payton, Frye, Maurice Harkless, Ben Gordon, Kyle O’Quinn and Willie Green? It’s extremely unlikely. But could they potentially make the playoffs? Absolutely. Anything is possible in the East. Regardless of how many games they win this year, I’m a believer in what Hennigan is doing. Having a guy like Frye who can stretch the floor, be a mentor/model of professionalism for their young squad and embrace coming off the bench behind No. 4 overall pick Aaron Gordon is a fantastic move for a Magic team that’s going to be fun to watch when the season tips off in just a few short months.

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