General Manager Rob Hennigan and head coach Jacque Vaughn did not attend the Magic’s 87-69 summer league win over the Houston Rockets on Monday afternoon in Orlando. The two were finalizing a deal to bring in 31-year-old Channing Frye, on a 4-year, $32 million dollar contract.
Frye, averaged 11 points and five rebounds last season for the Phoenix Suns.
“I enjoyed my time playing for the Suns, and will miss the fans,” Frye said.
Frye, who hasn’t shot worse than 34 percent from beyond the arc in the past five seasons, helps with the Magic’s inability to score from the perimeter consistenly.
“I’m excited it be part of the Magic organization, I look forward to working with the young guys,” Frye said.
Elfrid Payton and Aaron Gordon have shown stifling defense and unbelievable athleticism during summer league play this week, but with the loss of Arron Afflalo to the Denver Nuggets the Magic offense was in need of an upgrade.
The pairing of Frye along side Nikola Vucevic, will allow spacing and room for Vucevic to work in the low post. The concern was the opposing defenses could pack in on the Magic, forcing them to shoot from the outside.
The thought may be Frye and his inability to run with the young guys, but coming over from Phoenix should be an easy transition considering the way they are known to play.
Frye also adds a veteran leadership in a locker room that lacks it with the departure of long time guard Jameer Nelson who was waived last week.
The Magic will be able to score in a multitude of ways with Frye on the perimeter. Payton adds court vision and a pass first point guard, Tobias Harris can score from mid-range while Victor Oladipo and Gordon will be explosive in the open court.
The perimeter defense from Maurice Harkless, Payton and Oladpio will cause issues for other NBA teams. It will be interesting to see if Frye and Ben Gordon who also signed with the Magic this week, will be able to fill in the scoring void Orlando needs.