Frye passes physical, cleared to make debut with Cavaliers

CLEVELAND (AP) Channing Frye went from NBA oblivion to title contention.

No wonder he can't stop smiling.

Frye, obtained last week by the Cavaliers from Orlando in a three-team trade, has joined a star-studded Cleveland team with a legitimate chance to win a championship. It's everything he could have asked for, which is why he's willing to do whatever's asked of him.

''I don't think they need anything,'' he said. ''I think I'm just another option. I like to space the floor, I think I can give guys opportunity not to get double teamed.

''In today's game, floor spacing is everything. There are some All-Stars playing ahead of me, so I'm ready to earn my minutes whenever possible and then just be ready.''

Frye underwent exhaustive medical tests over the weekend before he was cleared Monday to play for the Cavs, who plan to primarily use him in a reserve role. The 6-foot-11 big man will give coach Tyronn Lue another shooting threat.

Lue intended to play Frye in Monday night's game against Detroit.

''We'll get him in there and get him acclimated to what we're trying to do,'' Lue said.

Frye said he's not worried about his minutes and is focused solely on fitting in with the Cavs, who entered Monday's game at 40-14 and holding a 3 1/2-game lead over Toronto for the best record in the Eastern Conference.

He said jumping so many spots in the standings has energized him.

''If it doesn't change you shouldn't be playing basketball,'' he said. ''Just even going through shootaround, it's not like I have to explain to Kevin (Love) how to play a certain guy.

''For me, it's really just about focusing on myself and how I can help the team, just making sure that I kind of slide in there and get that little extra piece they might need whenever they need me. For me, it's just being ready and trying to catch on as soon as possible.''

The Cavs did a detailed medical assessment of Frye partly because he missed the 2012-13 season with a heart condition. Frye said he wasn't worried about there being a new medical issue and he's grateful the Cavs were so diligent.

''I was telling my friends it's more like I appreciate the team being extremely thorough,'' he said. ''How many people get the opportunity to not only go to Johns Hopkins but also come to the Cleveland Clinic? You just get more information so maybe the information I had and that has gone through this process can help a guy later on to make sure we're making the right decisions.

''If they had just cleared me, I'd have thought something was up. Them taking extra days is just them being a great organization and making sure they cross their Ts and dot their Is.''

As Frye made his debut Monday night against Detroit, the Cavs welcomed back starting point guard Kyrie Irving, who had to leave Sunday's game in Oklahoma City after sitting out against the Thunder with flu-like symptoms.

Guard Iman Shumpert missed his second straight game with a sprained left shoulder.

Also, guard Mo Williams is scheduled to meet with orthopedist Dr. James Andrews on Tuesday to check his sore left knee. Williams received an injection in December, but the knee has continued to be an issue.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.