The Cleveland Cavaliers were set to trade Channing Frye to the Sacramento Kings alongside Iman Shumpert in exchange for guard George Hill.
According to a recent report, however, head coach Ty Lue was hesitant to lose Frye in the deal (via ESPN):
“[He] was against including Frye in the Hill trade, league sources told ESPN, because he deems the stretch-5 too valuable to include in a move that does not result in a clear-cut improvement to Cleveland’s championship chances.”
Now that big man Kevin Love is set to miss approximately six weeks with a broken hand, the Cavaliers would be wise to hold on to Frye. Last night after Love left the game, Frye became an immediate impact player in Cleveland.
He scored a season-high 20 points and added 6 rebounds with 2 blocks during his 21 minutes of action against the Pistons. The Cavs may have lost but they still have eighteen wins during the twenty games he has played more than ten and a half minutes this season.
While he was often relegated to minimal playing time in Cleveland, he has shown his value as a big man who can stretch the floor as a three-point scorer is exactly what the Cavaliers need without Love.
Love recently spoke about what Frye brings to the table for the team (via Cleveland.com):
“Seems like every time he takes the floor something good happens. I always use the word consummate pro …You can’t put into words how important that is to have in a locker room … He’s so valuable and I’m lucky because he’s right here.”
Frye is shooting 27-of-35 (77.1 percent) on attempts from less than five feet of the basket. No one in the league with at least as many opportunities has been more accurate. Only two players with as many opportunities (including Stephen Curry) have a higher shooting percentage than Frye (56.7 percent) on midrange shots.
But he’s not just effective on two-point field goals, considering that last season only one player with as many opportunities was more efficient than Frye (1.27 points per possession) on spot-up plays.
His turnover rate (6.9 percent) is among the best among forwards in the East who have played comparable minutes this season.
While he also has value as an expiring contract for the Cavaliers, it would be foolish for Cleveland to ship away a player who has proven he can help the team win – especially without Love as an outside scorer moving forward.
This might limit their assets in other potential deals but Frye is a unique player in an already thin frontcourt. He is essential to their success moving forward and would be missed tremendously.