Max Strus became an integral part of the Miami Heat’s rotation last season and broke out in a nice way, recording 10.6 points and 3.0 rebounds per game while shooting 41.0 percent from beyond the arc.
Plenty of people were expecting him to build upon those numbers in a bigger role for Miami this season. While he’s been scoring more, his efficiency has taken a big hit.
Despite that, he figures to drum up some interest around the league this offseason, and one unnamed NBA executive believes he “most likely” will leave the Heat in free agency.
“I think Strus is most likely gone because he will get a competitive offer, something around what Caleb Martin got (three years, $20 million),” the executive told Sean Deveney of Heavy Sports. “I don’t know that they want to pay him that. He has not shot that well this year, but he is clearly a really good rotation player in the NBA.”
Strus is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of the 2022-23 season. The Minnesota Timberwolves were apparently interested in him ahead of February’s trade deadline, but no deal materialized.
It will be interesting to see if the Timberwolves pursue him once again in the summer. Miami already has plenty of money committed to multiple different players for next season. Tyler Herro’s lucrative extension is set to kick in after this season. Therefore, there’s a chance that Miami might not be willing to get into a bidding war for Strus.
Given the Heat’s knack for developing undrafted talent, they could end up looking to replace him with another under-the-radar player.
So far this season, Strus is recording 11.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game on 40.2 percent shooting from the field and 33.7 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
The Heat are currently in seventh place in the Eastern Conference as they continue to go through plenty of ups and downs. However, the squad is now only one game back of the Brooklyn Nets for sixth, which is the final guaranteed playoff spot in the conference.
Only time will tell if the Heat end up making the playoffs and whether or not Strus will be back in South Florida for next season.