Pick. And. Roll.
That is exactly what Channing Frye brings to the Orlando Magic's offense. An offense that at times last season was downright moribund, now receives an adrenaline shot in the form of Channing Frye for a four-year, $32-million contract. Yes, now Victor Oladipo has someone to keep defenses honest as he plunges into lane. Elfrid Payton's growing pains as a rookie are eased with the safety valve that Frye's uncanny three-point shooting and size bring to the table.
Amid the swirling chaos and missed baskets that was Orlando's "offense" last season there were some bright spots. Namely, Victor Oladipo (still on the team, yay!) and Arron Afflalo (now a Denver Nugget, boo!). Departure to greener pastures of Afflalo aside, Channing Frye's offensive production does so much to enhance the good: The lightning-strike quick guards all too eager to attack the rim and pick up easy "and ones," who also have the savvy to kick it out to the wide open guy standing behind the three-point line now have a teammate who is very good at hitting wide open threes. This is a copycat league and threes are so en vogue right now, but for a team such as the Magic, this move makes too much sense not to make.
As they have rebuilt after Dwightmare 1.0, the Magic have taken their time to look and see what's winning basketball games in today's NBA. Turns out guards with quantum processors where their quads and ACLs should be and hyper-efficient tall dudes on offense are in; management has not yet gotten to the Spurs chapter "Pass To Win, Never Miss Again." In step with this rebuild, O-town has doubled down on freakishly gifted guards by selecting Payton on draft night [And by signing Ben Gordon...J/K^2!! LULZ! Ben Gordon -Ed.] which allows Oladipo to slide to his more natural two guard slot.
Frye's signing forces defenses to stay honest and to "stay woke" at the three-point line, even while Oladipo and Payton swashbuckle their way to the rim. In either case, if Payton somehow wins ROY next year, or he and Oladipo just BLOW UP, I am calling for an infomercial starring Goran Dragic, Oladipo, and Muppet Hair to sing the hosannas of Frye and to tell you, dear reader ... to pick up that phone and find out what Channing Frye can do for you!
It's not as important as his on-court presence and insta-offense, but Frye is by almost all measures a completely dependable and nice guy. Seriously, Frye is annually on the pre-season "watch lists" for the J. Walter Kennedy Sportsmanship Award and the Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award. In fact, an oft-cited aphorism has it that the only time Frye ever lost his temper is when Kenneth Faried won the J. Walter a few years back. Apparently that beef was squashed with, uh, potatoes—he and Frye had a deliberate and articulate discussion of the matter over animal-style fries and milkshakes at a Phoenix-area In 'N Out.
The Payton selection and the Frye signing, in spite of the Afflalo departure and Gordon signing, make Orlando an imminently watchable team heading into next season. League Pass junkies: take note.