When this week began, Nik Stauskas was already playing on his third team in the past two seasons. Like, actually kind of playing: 15.3 minutes per game with the Portland Trail Blazers. Third-year guard Wade Baldwin IV, who was already on his second NBA club, played significantly less. It was not really big news when the two were packaged with some second-rounders at the end of the weekend and dealt to the Cavs in exchange for Rodney Hood.
If you were for some reason a fan of Stauskas or Baldwin—or, if you’re into it, the odd couple of Stauskas and Baldwin—you might have felt a fleeting bittersweet pang. Yes they were leaving a team in playoff contention and moving to one of the sorriest squads in the league, but at least they’d get some playing time. Maybe they’d even prove themselves as worthy of suiting up for a real contender!
And apparently they did, and didn’t even have to play a game to do it. A front-row seat for James Harden every night, with minimal responsibilities of your own? Sounds like a sweet deal, or at the very least like an upgrade over Cleveland. Imagine, if you will, the two of them high-fiving and celebrating their good fortune, then booking a flight to Houston. At some point, they check Twitter.
Hm. Well. Better cancel that flight. Still, it is nice that so many teams would put forth the effort to trade for these guys, and for whatever reason always insist on acquiring the two together. Indiana is a scrappy, playoff-bound squad. Without Victor Oladipo, there might at least be some minutes for Stauskas. Back to Travelocity!
Update (2/11, 11:11 a.m.): Our iconic duo has been separated. Hopefully Stauskas stayed in Cleveland all this time.