The Cleveland Cavaliers are trying to use their $10.5 million trade exception to acquire Channing Frye from the Orlando Magic, reports The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski. The Cavaliers could absorb Frye's $8.2 million salary using the exception and add one of the game's top role players to their roster.
The primary hurdle for Cleveland in acquiring Frye is the luxury tax. The team is hoping to trade Anderson Varejao and his contract, which includes another two years and nearly $19 million, in order to make adding Frye more palatable. If the Cavaliers were to acquire Frye and keep Varejao, their luxury tax payment would increase from $61 million to $95 million, according to Wojnarowski.
That's a massive financial price to pay for a role player like Frye, as much as he would help the Cavaliers with his shooting ability in the frontcourt. Instead, Cleveland is seeking out teams with cap space that might be willing to take on Varejao as part of a three-team deal.
All of this comes after word that the Magic and Clippers were reportedly nearing a Frye trade. Los Angeles is reportedly holding off on pulling the trigger for the deal, which would see Lance Stephenson head to Orlando, so the Magic are considering other options to move the big man. Orlando planned to waive Stephenson as part of that move.
Frye, 32, is in his 10th NBA season. The 6'11 big man is averaging 5.2 points and 3.2 rebounds per game. He's one of the best shooters among big men in the league, hitting 40 percent of his three-point attempts this season. For his career, Frye is a 39 percent shooter from beyond the arc.
The Magic are hoping to clear Frye's contract, which runs through the 2017-18 season. It seems probable that will happen before the trade deadline, although Cleveland only appears to be an option if Varejao can be moved off the books.