NBA free agency 2023: Heat’s Max Strus agrees to 4-year, $63M sign-and-trade deal with Cavaliers

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Miami Heat guard Max Strus
Max Strus helped the Heat to the NBA Finals last season. (AP/Jack Dempsey)

Max Strus’ time in South Beach is over.

Strus agreed to a four-year, $63 million sign-and-trade deal to join the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The Miami Heat will send Strus to Cleveland and reportedly receive a second-round pick, while the San Antonio Spurs get Cedi Osman, Lamar Stevens, and a second-rounder.

The deal marks the first major one for Strus, who went undrafted out of DePaul in 2019 and is coming off a career season in which he helped lead the Miami Heat to the NBA Finals.

Strus averaged a career-high 11.5 points and 3.2 rebounds last season while shooting 35% from the 3-point line. He’s shot better than 37% from behind the arc in his career, too. Though Strus mostly came off the bench in Miami, he helped fill the gap left by guard Tyler Herro, who broke his hand in the first game of the 2022-23 postseason, without missing much of a step. He averaged 14.7 points and shot almost 48% from the field in the Heat’s Eastern Conference semifinals series against the New York Knicks, too.

Strus, 27, just wrapped up a two-year, $3.4 million deal with the Heat.

“I’ve had an unbelievable time here,” Strus said after the Heat fell in the NBA Finals to the Denver Nuggets, via the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “I did what I came here to do for myself. They’ve given me an opportunity and I took advantage of it. … Obviously, money is a thing. I mean, that’s for anybody. These are moments you work for, the opportunities that could be life changing. So you can’t ever take that out of it.

“But I love playing basketball, and that’s always going to be the first thing for me, playing basketball the right way, being comfortable in a place to do that, and making sure I’m compatible with what that organization is about and what they do.”

Though Strus struggled a bit in the Finals, his play still drew plenty of interest from across the league. According to Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer, the Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Orlando Magic, in addition to the Cavaliers, were all considering making a move to bring Strus in this summer.

While he’s now moved on from the Heat, who gave him his first real chance, Strus has more than established himself as a solid player in the league over the last two years.

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