NBA: Cavaliers deal Varejao, land Frye at trade deadline
Reigning Eastern Conference champion Cleveland added three-point sharpshooter Channing Frye while the Los Angeles Clippers landed forward Jeff Green in deals Thursday at the NBA trade deadline.
Most title contenders stood firm but the Cavaliers and Clippers tweaked their lineups in hopes of finding the correct combination to dethrone the defending champion Golden State Warriors.
Cleveland, which lost to Golden State in last year’s NBA Finals despite a superb effort from LeBron James, obtained Frye from Orlando in a three-team deal that saw Brazilian center Anderson Varejao and a first-round NBA Draft pick go to Portland for a second round pick that was sent to the Magic along with guard Jared Cunningham.
Varejao had spent his entire 12-year NBA career with Cleveland, and Cavaliers general manager David Griffin said it was difficult to send him away.
“We have a deep obligation to do whatever we can to reach our ultimate goal and we believe this was a deal that improves our team now and positions us better in the future as well,” he said.
Frye, joining his fifth team in 10 seasons, has averaged 5.2 points and 3.2 rebounds on 43.5 percent shooting from the floor and is hitting 39.7 percent from 3-point range.
The Clippers landed Green from Memphis along with a first-round draft pick in exchange for forward Lance Stephenson, who moved to his third team in less than two years.
Stephenson, in the second year of a three-year deal worth $27 million, helped Indiana to two Eastern Conference finals trips but he has struggled with Charlotte and the Clippers, averaging 8.2 points for the Hornets last season and 4.7 points in 43 games for the Clippers this season.
Green will be reunited with Clippers coach Doc Rivers, for whom he played in Boston. Green averaged 12.6 points in 98 games for the Grizzlies after being traded by Boston in January of 2014.
The Atlanta Hawks obtained veteran guard Kirk Hinrich from the Chicago Bulls for a future second-round draft pick and guard Justin Holiday. The Hawks made the trade shortly after moving reserve point guard Shelvin Mack to the Utah Jazz.
The Phoenix Suns sent forward Markieff Morris to the Washington Wizards for a future first-round pick along with reserve forwards Kris Humphries and DeJuan Blair. Morris has been unhappy since the Suns traded his twin brother Marcus to Detroit in the off-season.
Detroit obtained guard Marcus Thornton and Lithuanian forward Donatas Motiejunas from the Houston Rockets for backup center Joel Anthony and a 2018 first-round draft pick.
The Pistons, 27-27, are one game out of eighth place and a playoff berth.
Oklahoma City Thunder added reserve guard Randy Foye from Denver in exchange for guard D.J. Augustin and forward Steve Novak plus two-second round draft picks.
Miami cut salary costs by sending rookie frontliner Jarnell Stokes to New Orleans for a second-round draft pick and cash and dealing guard Brian Roberts to Portland for a second-round draft pick.