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LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Los Angeles Lakers, but a familiar face will return to the defending Eastern Conference champions next season.
Channing Frye will be donning the wine and gold again next season after agreeing to a deal with the Cavaliers. The veteran forward started the 2017-18 NBA season in Cleveland but was dealt to the Lakers before the annual trade deadline in February.
Channing Frye Gets One-Year Deal From Cavs
According to ESPN, Frye signed a one-year deal worth $2.4 million after not getting an offer from the Lakers. His new contract with Cleveland was for a veteran exception and will have a cap hit of $1.5 million next season. The Cavaliers have now $111.9 million on the payroll with 11 guaranteed and two non-guaranteed deals.
Frye was traded to the Cavaliers midway through the 2014-15 NBA season from the Orlando Magic. He was a factor for the Cavs during their title run that season. Last season, the 35-year-old played 44 games in Cleveland before being dealt to Los Angeles along with Isaiah Thomas.
The New York native averaged 4.8 points in just 12.4 minutes per game last season, but more than his statistical contributions, Frye earned praises for being a strong locker room presence.
Hilarity Ensues After Frye Signs Deal
After agreeing to make a comeback in Cleveland, Frye announced his return through an Instagram post. He posted a photo of him in a Cavaliers jersey and captioned it: “Well I guess this is hello again.”
Cavaliers forward Kevin Love also stirred laughter with his Instagram post. Love developed a strong relationship with Frye during their three seasons together in Cleveland.
Love’s Instagram post was a parody of James’ announcement in 2014, when he revealed that he was “coming home” to Cleveland.
According to USA Today, the four-time Most Valuable Player hilariously replied to Love’s post:
“C’mon Kevin Love!! He doesn’t deserve this type of greatness of post from you.”
A fan also posted a photo similar to the “We Are All Witness” billboard of James in Cleveland before he left. Instead of James, the photo showed Frye in a Cavaliers uniform.
Signing Frye is the first free-agency move from Cleveland after James decided to leave and sign with the Lakers. They also selected former Alabama standout Collin Sexton with their eight pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. The Cavaliers are still waiting for offer sheets for Rodney Hood, who is a restricted free agent this summer.
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