Cavs wing Max Strus opens up on new experience of being ‘wanted’ in NBA

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Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers made a solid splash this offseason by bringing in Max Strus, who fills a roster need at the wing for the organization.

He recently appeared on the “Five on the Floor” podcast where he said his farewell to the Miami Heat, who took a chance on him to help jump-start his NBA career. The DePaul University product also spoke about being wanted in the NBA after going undrafted in 2019.

“I have never really been wanted in the NBA, so it was a little bit different,” said Strus. “I was kinda always putting my name out there and trying to get my opportunity.”

The 27-year-old has had an inspiring professional basketball career so far. After spending four seasons playing college basketball, every team in the 2019 NBA Draft passed on him. He had his first opportunity in the league with the Boston Celtics, who named him to their Summer League roster and signed him to a contract after.

However, the Celtics cut him before the start of the 2019-20 regular season, a move that Strus apparently never forgot.

Another opportunity presented itself for the sharpshooter, as his hometown team, the Chicago Bulls, signed him to a contract. Incidentally, his NBA debut came against the Heat.

Injuries cut short his 2019-20 campaign with the Bulls, as he appeared in just two NBA contests and 13 G League games. Still, Miami recognized his potential, as the organization known for finding and developing undrafted gems brought him in through a training camp contract in the 2020 offseason.

From there, he proved his worth to Miami, and it led to a three-season stint with the team. After his first season with the Heat, Strus periodically found his way into the starting lineup, particularly in the 2022 and 2023 playoffs.

His solid play with Miami was enough for the Cavs to seek his services in the 2023 offseason. Cleveland even sent out multiple assets to add the 6-foot-5 forward, who was a key target for the team heading into the offseason.

It remains to be seen if Strus can meet expectations and provide the Cavs with what they need on the perimeter on both ends of the court. There is plenty of optimism, given his career average of 2.3 3-pointers per game to go along with a 37.1 percent shooting clip from deep. He is also capable of making an impact defensively.

With any luck, the future is bright for Strus and the Cavs.

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Orel is a freelance writer who is passionate about the NBA. He has followed the league since the late '90s and found increased interest in it in 2003 – when an 18-year-old prodigy from Akron, Ohio took the league by storm.