After the Cavaliers endured an offense that lacked effective perimeter shooting and the volume to accompany it. They went aggressive in free agency to fill that hole. Their main target was Max Strus. To acquire Strus, they negotiated a sign and trade between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs sending Cedi Osman and Lamar Steven out to the Spurs in return for the marksman.
Name: Max Strus
Weight: 215 lb
2022-2023 stats: 80 games played, 28.4 mpg, 11.5 ppg (41% from the field and 35% from three), 3.2 rpg and 2.1 apg
Strus helps solidify a small forward position that has been in flux since LeBron James left for the Los Angeles Lakers. Each player to have played significant minutes in the position had flaws that could only allow for them to be a short term solution (Isaac Okoro) or was traded off to acquire Donovan Mitchell (Lauri Markkanen and Ochai Achbaji).
What Strus brings to the Cavaliers is someone who won’t offensively feel like he is confined to the corners where he awaits the ball. Instead, Strus is someone who is able to freely move off-ball and will take advantage of sharing the floor with Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell.
Most players who have played small forward or shared the floor with the dynamic guards last season couldn’t convert on the looks provided. The Cavaliers had many who had more space to shoot than Strus ever did.
Strus’ numbers dipped last season, but also, so did his space to shoot. With the Heat being injured for most of the season. It was evident that the load Strus had was a much higher one than anticipated. With the gravity that the guards have it has already even shown in the preseason, the looks Strus will get will be much less congested than in Miami.
With the acquisition of Strus, appears to also be a shift in philosophy which will also highlight the skill Strus provides. The coaching staff has both preached and demonstrated an emphasis on quicker pace and volume from the three-point line. With a freer flowing offense, we are the seeing the Cavaliers shoot free and willing often. As the offense speeds up and volume, defenses with be scrambling to keep up with the Cavaliers spacing and ability to generate quick decision ball movement.
When Strus is on the floor with the starting five, we as fans should see a new version of the Cavaliers offense anything seen in past season. It appears that while Strus was the signature signing of the offseason, he could also become a main factor in the offense. An offensive evolution is underway and Strus is the first domino to signal that both on the floor and off of it.