A familiar face is returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The team reached an agreement with free agent forward Channing Frye on a one-year deal worth $2.4 million. Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports was the first to report the agreement.
The veteran forward took to Instagram following the breaking news
Frye was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in February after spending almost two seasons in Cleveland after the Cavaliers acquired him from Orlando in February 2016.
He played in nine games with the Lakers, averaging nearly 17 minutes per game and averaging 5.8 points and 2.8 rebounds. In 44 games (1 start) with Cleveland last season, Frye averaged 4.8 points and 2.5 rebounds in 12.5 minutes per game.
Frye quickly became a fan favorite in Cleveland after he was traded here and was a part of the 2016 team that broke the 52-year championship drought for the city of Cleveland.
He also formed a strong bond with Lebron James, Kevin Love and Richard Jefferson during his first run in Cleveland, even starting the “Road Trippin” podcast with Jefferson and Cavs sideline reporter Allie Clifton that became a very popular sports podcast around the country.
In that 2016 postseason, Frye averaged 6.7 points and 2.4 rebounds per game but his three point shooting played a big factor in the Cavaliers championship run, shooting 56.5% throughout the postseason.
His best game came in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals against the Atlanta Hawks where he scored 27 points on 10 of 13 shooting (7 of 9 from three point distance) in route to a 13 point victory for the Cavaliers.
He now returns to Cleveland to be a veteran leader in the locker room that is quickly becoming a very young roster for the Cavaliers. Frye can be a mentor to fellow big men Larry Nance and Ante Zizic and this could be an actual blessing for Nance who told ESPN that he’s working on expanding his shooting range, Frye can definitely help him with that.
There’s also a spot for Frye on this roster as this team needs guys who can stretch the floor and create space for rookie point guard Collin Sexton to be able to attack the rim like he’s shown throughout the Summer League. With Frye’s ability to expand his shooting range, he’s a perfect fit alongside Sexton.
There’s also no doubt Frye can still shoot the long ball. He’s a career 38.7% three-point shooter and has hit over 1,000 career three-pointers in his 12-year NBA career.
Cavaliers forward Kevin Love chimed in on Instagram about the return of his friend and teammate
I do think with the return of Frye that it will quiet down the Kevin Love trade talk for now and I think the Cavaliers will try and compete during the first half of the season to see if the playoffs are a legit possibility and if they aren’t by the trade deadline, I think moving Love will be placed back on the table.
Love and Frye are good friends off the court and I think if Love wasn’t on the roster currently, I don’t think Frye would be coming back to Cleveland like he is.