Channing Frye Explains Why He Chose to Sign With Cavs Over Raptors Last Offseason

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When Channing Frye signed to play his final year in the NBA with the Cleveland Cavaliers last year, it was primarily due to his familiarity with the organization and his friendships within the team. In doing so, he passed up the possibility of signing with the Toronto Raptors, who are just one win away from an NBA title.

Joe Vardon of The Athletic looked at a variety of topics and noted a brief meeting with Frye at the Finals:

“I ran into Channing Frye in Toronto. He was there doing some work for ESPN ahead of Game 5 of the Finals. Upon his retirement from the Cavs in April, he’s moved back to Oregon. I reminded him that he was approached by the Raptors to sign as a free agent last summer, and that he instead chose to sign a one-year deal with the Cavs. His reasons for picking the Cavs were the familiarity with the organization, the presence of one of his closest friends on the roster (Kevin Love), and the message from Cleveland’s front office that the team was going to try to make the playoffs. Six games into it, [Tyronn] Lue was fired, Love was headed for toe surgery and a 50-game absence, and the Cavs were destined for the lottery. Frye won a title with the Cavs in 2016 and went to the Finals with Cleveland again in 2017. He could’ve added another Finals trip, and maybe a second championship, had he said yes to the Raptors. Such is life.”

While potentially picking up another championship ring to go with the one he won with the Cavs in 2016 would have exciting, it’s unlikely that Frye is anguishing over his decision.

Frye can look back on a solid 13-year career in which he developed into a rare commodity: a big man who can hit from beyond the arc by hitting 1,049 3-pointers in 890 regular season games.

In addition, he was a member of four playoff teams, playing in 49 contests and was part of two Cavs teams that reached the Finals after having acquired by the team in February 2016.

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Brad Sullivan is a lead writer for Cavaliers Nation. He has spent much of life in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and has remained a Cavalier fan from their 1970 beginnings through the return of LeBron James. While that fandom was sorely tested during the Reign of Error known simply by one word, Stepien, that overall historical perspective will be part of his writing for Cavaliers Nation in the months ahead.