The Cleveland Cavaliers faded early in the 2023 NBA Playoffs. After being one of the best performers in the regular season prior to that postseason, the Cavs were demolished in just five games by the New York Knicks. It appeared as though Cleveland still needed an extra hand to lift the team up.

To that end, the Cavs made a big play in the NBA offseason, acquiring sharpshooter Max Strus via a sign-and-trade deal with the Miami Heat. Strus comes over on a four-year deal worth $63 million. Not a bad deal at all for someone who was once on a two-way deal with the Heat. According to Marc Stein (via his Substack), the Cavs eyed Strus after being impressed with the role he played for the Heat’s a shocking deep run in the 2023 Playoffs, notwithstanding his poor shooting in the NBA Finals against the Denver Nuggets.

“Cleveland believes that Strus’ sturdy play during the first three rounds of the playoffs — before he shot 6-for-32 on 3-pointers during the NBA Finals — is evidence that he can bring a level of postseason toughness and readiness to the Cavaliers that was clearly lacking in their first-round exit to lower-seeded New York in the first round.”

Max Strus hit 41.2 percent of his 3-point attempts in the first round against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the top-seed Milwaukee Bucks. In the second round, he led the Heat with 2.8 threes per game on 35.4 percent accuracy. He cooled down in the conference finals and in the NBA Finals, but by then, he had already established himself as a potent threat from the perimeter that the Boston Celtics and the Nuggets had to worry about regardless of his performance in a prior contest.