Channing Frye‘s huge performance in Game 3 of the series with the Hawks helped justify GM David Griffin’s $32MM decision to bring him to Cleveland, writes Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com. The Cavaliers acquired Frye from the Magic at the trade deadline, sending a second round pick to Orlando in return. Cleveland had to absorb the rest of Frye’s contract, which runs through 2017/18, plus luxury taxes, bringing the total cost of the deal to about $32MM. Frye, who had 27 points off the bench Friday as the Cavs won in Atlanta, was close to joining the Cavaliers before. He visited them in 2009, but opted for Phoenix. Griffin recruited him in 2014, offering the chance to play with Kyrie Irving and possibly Gordon Hayward, but those plans were scuttled when LeBron James announced he was returning to Cleveland.
There’s more news as the Cavs return to the conference finals:
- Cleveland gave Frye an opportunity he never had in Orlando, according to Brian Schmitz of The Orlando Sentinel. The 33-year-old Frye was a veteran stuck in a rebuilding situation with the Magic, but now he’s surrounded by All-Stars and has the chance to win a title. “When I got traded here I knew there was responsibility to come at the level these guys are playing at,” Frye said. “[Magic coach] Scott Skiles told me, ‘Hey Channing man, you’re a great player, you’re going to help them win a game in a series, you know. You’re going to help them win a game and do some bigger things.’ I always think about that.”
- This may be Tyronn Lue‘s first postseason as a head coach, but he’s performing like a veteran, writes Jason Lloyd of The Akron Beacon Journal. Lue compiled a 27-14 record after taking over for the fired David Blatt in January. Now he’s trying to surpass Blatt’s performance from a year ago and lead the Cavaliers to a championship. “Being able to push the right buttons is actually working out,” Lue said. “It feels good right now.”
- The sweep of Atlanta sets up a possible series with the Heat, with the highest stakes since James left Miami two years ago, according to Mitch Lawrence of Forbes.com. “It’d be great to play against those guys in the postseason,” James said of his former team. “Throughout my whole career, I’ve always wanted to go against [Dwyane] Wade in a playoff series. We’ve always talked about it even before we became teammates in ’10. It’s not been heavy on my mind, but it’s crossed my mind throughout my whole career.”