Onuaku adds physical element to Cavs

Feb 23, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers center Arinze Onuaku (50) walks on the court prior to the game against the Washington Wizards at Quicken Loans Arena.

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Arinze Onuaku may be a first-time Cavalier, but he’s quite familiar with the team.

As a member of the D-League’s Canton Charge, Onuaku said he and his teammates often watched the games of the parent club.

"When (the Cavs) call certain plays, I’m familiar with what they’re doing," he said.

Onauku is 6-foot-9 and 275 pounds. He can play center and power forward and was generally considered a beast under the basket during his time with the Charge. NBA scouts were beginning to salivate over the guy.

But the rest of the NBA is out of luck for the time being — as Onuaku signed a 10-day contract with the Cavs on Saturday. After practicing with the Cavs, he went back down to Canton for the Charge’s home win over Texas. Onauku finished that game with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

The Cavs likely signed him to keep someone else from doing so; not necessarily because of any pressing need in the frontcourt.

Onuaku, who was undrafted out of Syracuse, described himself as a physical-type of player who loves to chase rebounds.

"I set great screens and can finish around the rim," he said. "I do all the little things that every team needs to get over the hump."

The Cavs entered Sunday’s game without center/forward Anderson Varejao, who missed his sixth straight with a sore back. At the very least, Onuaku will help fill the void at practice.

"He’s a tough guy," said Cavs coach Mike Brown. "Obviously, he’s a big body. He’s a worker. So he’s a nice addition to the team."