Well-traveled Nik Stauskas finally gets chance to wear Cavaliers uniform

CLEVELAND (AP) — Nik Stauskas has been in Cleveland for a week. He’s finally getting a chance to wear a Cavaliers uniform.

The Cavaliers have signed the well-traveled guard, who was traded three times and released last week, for the rest of the season.

Stauskas was briefly with the Cavs, who acquired him from Portland in the deal for forward Rodney Hood. He never appeared in a game before Cleveland sent him two days later to Houston, which promptly traded Stauskas at the deadline to Indiana. The Pacers then waived the 25-year-old, allowing the rebuilding Cavs to scoop him up.

And while being traded twice and then waived, Stauskas never left Cleveland.

“It’s crazy,” he said. “I flew to Cleveland. I was able to practice once with the team. I got traded to Houston, but no one ever booked me a flight to Houston. They were thinking they were still going to make some moves and I was possibly going to be traded again. So I stayed in Cleveland, got traded to Indiana, the same thing happened.”

Stauskas spoke to Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman after being let go by the Pacers.

“Koby called me and said, `We’re going to work with you back here in Cleveland.’ They were already on the road, so I stayed put at the hotel. I’m glad it worked out,” Stauskas said.

Playing for the Cavaliers has a special meaning for Stauskas, who grew up in Toronto as a LeBron James fan and made an annual visit to Quicken Loans Arena.

“My Christmas present would be a trip to Cleveland. I would watch LeBron play, then we would drive back to Toronto,” he said. “Probably three or four (years) in a row. My high school years, that was like when LeBron started winning his MVPs. The Q was always rocking, good fans. I remember those days.”

Stauskas averaged 6.1 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 44 games as a reserve for the Trail Blazers. He has also played for Brooklyn, Philadelphia and Sacramento, which selected him with the No. 8 overall pick in 2014.

Cleveland, which recently welcomed back All-Star forward Kevin Love following foot surgery, was 11-45 going into Monday’s game against the New York Knicks. Stauskas played 20 minutes in the Cavaliers’ 107-104 win and finished with three points, five rebounds and one assist.