Miami Heat free agent sharpshooter Max Strus is expected to command lots of money this offseason, according to the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson.
Now, it appears Chicago is also in the mix with Strus in position to command the full mid-level exception in free agency.
“Indiana, Detroit and Chicago are expected to be among the suitors for Max Strus when free agency begins at 6 p.m. Friday,” Jackson wrote. “A source close to Strus expects he will command the $12.3 million mid-level exception or potentially something higher from the Pacers or Pistons.”
Strus is a career 37.1 percent shooter from beyond the arc, and he has played a big role for Miami the last two seasons, averaging 26.1 minutes per game.
During the 2022-23 season, the former undrafted free agent averaged 11.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game while shooting 41.0 percent from the field and 35.0 percent from beyond the arc.
Strus was an integral part of Miami’s success in the playoffs, helping the team make the NBA Finals in the 2022-23 campaign. However, he went cold in the NBA Finals against the Denver Nuggets, shooting just 10-for-43 from the field in the series.
The Heat already have money committed to Duncan Robinson for the long term, and they may not be willing to pay such a hefty price for Strus.
With Tyler Herro moving into the starting lineup in the 2022-23 season, Strus took on more of a bench role. He still played well, but he shot much worse from beyond the arc (35.0 percent) compared to the 2021-22 season when he shot 41.0 percent from 3.
The Pacers and Pistons are both rebuilding teams that could use a shooter like Strus around their young guards. Strus could end up thriving playing alongside playmakers like Cade Cunningham and Tyrese Haliburton.
The Heat could still bring Strus back, but the more money that he commands in the offseason, the harder it will be for the team to make a competitive offer.
Strus is one of several undrafted free agents that have carved out solid roles in Miami. Robinson, Gabe Vincent, Haywood Highsmith and Caleb Martin also played big roles for the Heat this past season.