Eight shopping days remain until Christmas, but NBA general managers can get a jump start fulfilling their holiday wishlists: free agents signed before the 2014/15 season are eligible to be traded as of Monday. Larry Coon explains more in the 93rd question of his comprehensive NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement FAQ page.
As such, the Orlando Magic are now free to trade Channing Frye, Ben Gordon, and Luke Ridnour, should they so choose.
Frye inked a $32 million deal with Orlando in July, making him the recipient of the largest free-agent contract Rob Hennigan has issued in his three years as the Magic's general manager. Frye is playing 32.8 minutes per game as Orlando's starting power forward, posting modest averages of 8.1 points and 5.4 rebounds on 41.4 percent shooting, including 40.9 percent on three-pointers. His counting stats don't leap off the page, but his three-point shooting could make him a valuable commodity for playoff teams looking to improve their spacing. Keep an eye on the Sacramento Kings and Indiana Pacers, two bubble playoff clubs in need of outside shooting, as teams who may target Frye.
It's also worth noting that Frye's contract declines in value every season, according to Basketball Insiders, making him cost-effective as he ages.
Hennigan turned heads when he signed Gordon; the undersize two-guard washed out with the Charlotte Bobcats in the 2013/14 season and may not have even secured a minimum contract elsewhere, but the Magic gave him $8 million over two seasons, with the second season unguaranteed, anyway. To date, Gordon has certainly defied expectations: in 16.2 minutes per game off the bench, the former Sixth Man of the Year is scoring 7.8 points on 58.3 percent shooting. Moreover, he's demonstrated he can still create shots for himself off the bounce, converting an eye-popping 51.5 percent of his two-pointers.
Hennigan wrapped his free-agent spending in late July by adding Ridnour via a two-year deal worth just over $5 million. Like Gordon's contract, the second season of Ridnour's is unguaranteed. A fixture in coach Jacque Vaughn's rotation through Orlando's first 14 games--owing to a personal matter, he missed one game in that stretch--Ridnour has found himself at the end of the bench of late. Monday's game against the Toronto Raptors marked Ridnour's sixth straight Did Not Play-Coach's Decision, and his ninth in the Magic's last 10. Overall, Ridnour has averaged 4.4 points and 2.8 assists on 51.7 percent True Shooting. He offers solid playmaking but not much else.
The market for these veterans figures to be small, though Frye could garner some interest. He's only a year removed from averaging 11.1 points per game, with two three-pointers, on a 48-win Phoenix Suns club, and he's regarded as an excellent presence in the locker room. Those factors made him attractive to the Magic, and it's important to note there's no indication they're looking to unload him.
Gordon, meanwhile, may be defying modest expectations, but he is a known commodity, and his high conversion rate on twos will almost certainly regress to the mean. Teams looking to upgrade their bench scoring for a playoff run are likely to look for players who own a more impressive recent track record than Gordon does.
Ridnour, though a heady player, doesn't have much trade value; caretaker point guards of his ilk are available in the D-League and in the free-agent pool.