Max Strus is leaving the Miami Heat for the Cleveland Cavaliers in a sign-and-trade after agreeing to a 4-year, $63 million deal in 2023 NBA free agency, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. The Heat will get a second-round pick in return.

“Free agent Max Strus has agreed on a four-year, $63M sign-and-trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers, agent Mark Bartelstein of
@PrioritySports tells ESPN. In three-team deal, Heat get a second-round pick and Spurs acquire Cedi Osman, Lamar Stevens and a second-rounder.”

As part of a three-time sign-and-trade deal with the Heat, Wojnarowski states that the Cavaliers will be sending wing Cedi Osman and Lamar Stevens to the San Antonio Spurs.

It had been telegraphed before the opening of free agency that Strus would be leaving the Heat after their NBA Finals run. Strus going to the Cavaliers had been gaining more and more traction as the league inched closer to the start of free agency and now, he becomes a highly coveted shooter Cleveland has been missing out on the wing.

Cleveland has also agreed to new deals with Caris LeVert and Georges Niang this offseason.

With Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland leading the charge in their backcourt, the Cavs made the NBA Playoffs for the first time since 2018 and the first time since 1998 without LeBron James. The future is very bright for this franchise and now, they will begin their championship pursuit with Strus' arrival providing more depth in their second unit.

Max Strus' career

Max Strus, Max Strus free agency, Max Strus Heat

Max Strus is one of the many undrafted players to make big contributions with the Heat in recent seasons. Coming out of DePaul in 2019, Strus joined the Boston Celtics' Summer League team and put himself in position to make the big club that year. Unfortunately, he was cut just before the regular season.

Strus joined his hometown Chicago Bulls on a two-way contract and saw his first NBA action early in the 2019-20 season, only to tear his ACL in a G League game in late 2019. That ended his stint with Chicago.

The sharpshooter then signed a training camp deal with the Heat in 2020 and wound up with a two-way contract. A year later, he got a two-year, $3.5 million deal from Miami.

In Strus' first season as a regular rotation player in 2021-22, he averaged 10.6 points and 3.0 rebounds while shooting 41.0% from 3-point range. He started all 18 playoff games as the Heat fell just one game shy of the NBA Finals with a tough Game 7 loss to the Boston Celtics.

This past season, Strus' role grew even more as he averaged 11.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 28.4 minutes per game. While his 3-point shooting efficiency dipped to 35.0%, he was a key contributor all season by playing 80 games in the regular season and starting all 23 playoff games. He also had a 31-point outburst against the Chicago Bulls in the play-in tournament to secure the No. 8 seed, which set up Miami's Cinderella run.

Strus had a really rough go of it in the five-game NBA Finals loss to the Denver Nuggets, averaging just 5.8 points while shooting 23.3% from the field and 18.7% from 3-point range, which dropped his 3-point percentage in the playoffs to 31.9%. He shot 0-of-10 from the field and 0-of-9 from 3-point land in Game 1.

Max Strus' fit with Cavaliers

Despite Max Strus' brutal end to his season, he earned himself this nice payday with his stellar contributions over the last two seasons with the Heat, who will miss him. The 27-year-old's shooting may be a bit streaky, but he isn't hesitant to launch from deep and can catch fire with the best of them.

This is what makes him such a valuable free agency addition for the Cavaliers.

With capable ball-handlers and playmakers already leading the charge in Cleveland, Strus will be able to do what he does best in terms of running off screens and hitting threes. He's got two really solid screening options to play around with as well in Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley.

While not known for his defensive abilities, Strus is a capable defender who proved himself on that end of the floor during the Heat's playoff runs. The Cavaliers are ready to elevate themselves to contending status and this addition certainly helps their case to do so.