Washington Post national NBA writer Tim Bontemps hands out his grades for some of the biggest deals at the NBA’s trading deadline.
Trade: Three team trade
- Cleveland Cavaliers get Channing Frye from the Orlando Magic.
- Portland Trail Blazers get Anderson Varejao and a conditional first-round pick from Cleveland.
- Orlando gets Jared Cunningham from Cleveland and a second round pick from Portland.
Analysis: In exchange for two guys who were never going to play for the Cavaliers, Cleveland not only opens up a roster spot for buyout candidates, but gets Frye – a floor-spacing big man with a career three-point shooting percentage near 40 – in their place. The question here, though, is fit. Frye is now the fifth rotation big man the Cavaliers have, including LeBron James, Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson and Timofey Mozgov. Of all of them, only Mozgov is a credible rim protector – and he might be at the bottom of the pecking order among them in minutes. Frye also has two more years on his contract, albeit at a de-escalating salary, in what will be his age 33 and 34 seasons. The Cavaliers might’ve been better off chasing a wing player instead.
For Portland, this is simple: the Blazers use their massive hoard of cap space to take back Varejao’s dead money, and net a first-round pick – likely Cleveland’s first rounder in 2018 – in the process.
Orlando now is projected to have about $45 million in cap room this summer (though it’s unclear whom they’ll spend it on) after moving on from Frye, and net a second round pick for their trouble.
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