5 worst starters of the Orlando Magic’s rebuild era
Channing Frye (2015-16)
80 starts, 6.5 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 39.4% 3FG%
In 2014, the Orlando Magic had just come off their second year in a row finishing last in their division. However, their rookie shooting guard Victor Oladipo had just had a promising season as well as other young stars Tobias Harris and Nikola Vucevic. Arron Afflalo also had just come off a career year.
Hoping to move in the right direction the Magic wanted to add a veteran big who could also contribute. They decided to sign Channing Frye to a multi-year contract worth over $20 million, which at the time was a lot of money.
Frye was coming off averaging 11.1 points per game, 5.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game on 43.2/37.0/82.1 shooting splits. They were hoping the 30-year-old could serve this type of production and a stretch 4 to space the floor for Oladipo and Afflalo.
Unfortunately, hope does not equal points or wins as Frye’s career took a big drop off and never recovered. That next season he averaged 7.3 points per game, 3.9 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game on 39.2/39.3/88.6 shooting splits. The Magic also won only two more games.
He got worse in all statistical categories besides assists, and although he was better from three and from the free throw line, 39.2 percent from the field, especially from a big is atrocious. He was exclusively a three-point shooter and did not give the Magic the spacing they needed.
The next season was only worse and his numbers dropped again. After 44 games into his second season, he was traded away to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Frye would later admit that he checked out pretty quickly during his time in Orlando with a coaching staff and an organization that really had no direction and too many young players.
Normally when a player is signed for multiple years he is expected to play out his contract and contribute. Frye did not meet the expectations of playing his last few good years on the Magic.
Frye scored double digits 29 times in 119 games, and never even had a month on the Magic where he averaged double digits. He had 44 games with the Magic where he scored three or fewer points including 11 games with no points.
Frye was never supposed to be a superstar but he was supposed to be a key starter and role player who contributed to turning this young team around. He never achieved this on the Magic.