The Orlando Magic have already pulled off one big trade, and they might be close to another as they’re been approached by quite a few teams about Channing Frye, with the Los Angeles Clippers and Cleveland Cavaliers as the two likeliest teams to land the big shooter.
The Magic already traded Tobias Harris to the Detroit Pistons for Brandon Jennings and Ersan Ilyasova, and while they’re not planning on touching anyone else from the young core of this team, the 32-year old Frye, whose minutes have dropped to just 17 per game this season in Orlando, is no longer necessary for this season or the future, with offloading the $7.4 million he makes next season being another reason they’d like to see him gone.
While the Clippers have been busy the last few days saying they’re not trading Blake Griffin no matter what and no matter who, still feel it’s going to take a trade to break loose from the 4th spot in the West and provide a real challenge to the Spurs, Warriors and Thunder. And while they won’t move anyone from their lineup for such a “mid-major” kind of move or nor they have a lot of quality on their bench, there are things to be worked out.
Right now, it seems the Clippers will be giving up Lance Stephenson, C.J. Wilcox and maybe a second round draft pick for Frye, who might not get too many minutes on the Clippers as well, but it seems that his skills, which is mainly shooting the ball (39.7% from beyond the arc this season), will be better put to use under Doc Rivers, who really needs someone to hit shots from the corner in some of his lineups, as using J.J. Redick alone isn’t enough.
Stephenson, just so you know, will probably be released right away by the Magic, who don’t intend to give him a shot. Stephenson has another year on his deal but it’s a $9.4 million team option, and if it does happen, it’ll be another incredible step in his deterioration from his success on the Indiana Pacers to being a player very few teams in the NBA want to deal with at this point, not to mention he’ll be costing a lot less the next time he signs a contract.
As for the Cavaliers, they have Iman Shumpert and Timofey Mozgov lineup up for a trade. The Clippers are first in line, while the Cavs are waiting, and also looking at other options in other positions. Shumpert could interest the Magic. He’s still young, can guard three positions on the court and isn’t going to get away after this season is over, signed through the 2018-2019 season. Mozgov is probably someone they don’t really plan on keeping, and him hitting free agency at the end of this season makes him a good trade filler in any deal.