Still looking to clear salary cap space before 2018 NBA free agency, the Los Angeles Lakers completed a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers at the deadline to shed Jordan Clarkson’s contract.
In return, the Lakers received Channing Frye and Isaiah Thomas, both of whom were on expiring deals, plus the Cavs’ first-round pick in the 2018 Draft. That eventually amounted to the No. 25 overall selection, which the Lakers used to select Mortiz Wagner.
As for Frye and Thomas, there was little expectation either would return with the team. That became more apparent as the Lakers quickly filled out their roster after LeBron James agreed to a four-year, $153 million contract.
A market never quite formed for Thomas, who has signed a one-year contract with the Denver Nuggets. And now Frye is poised to move on from Los Angeles as well.
According to Shams Charania of Yahoo! Sports, the veteran big man is returning to the Cavs on a one-year contract:
Free agent Channing Frye has agreed to a one-year, $2.4M deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers, league sources tell Yahoo.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 14, 2018
Frye averaged 4.8 points and 2.5 rebounds in 44 games before being traded by the Cavaliers. In part due to an emergency appendectomy, he then appeared in just nine games for the Lakers, averaging 5.8 points and 2.8 rebounds in 16.7 minutes per game.
The Cavs team Frye rejoins is much different than the one he was last part of. The most notable change is of course James no longer being in Cleveland, but Frye was included in a roster overhaul at the trade deadline.
Despite seeing minimal action with the Lakers, Frye thoroughly enjoyed his time with the franchise he once despised. So much so that the 35-year-old said he was open to re-signing with the Lakers, even if it meant playing more of a mentoring role than logging time on the court.
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