Con No. 1: NBA Finals struggles
For much of the NBA Playoffs, Max Strus was crucial in Miami’s unfathomable success. In every series, the Heat were seemingly major underdogs, but they persevered thanks in no small way to Strus’ fantastic work ethic and play style.
Once the Heat found themselves against the eventual champions Nuggets, Strus’ productivity had a steep dropoff. In two of the five NBA Finals games, Strus finished with zero points and a severely negative plus-minus. In Game 3, Strus only scored three points, hitting only one of seven field goal attempts.
In order to win it all, the Cavaliers need players that step up when the lights are their brightest. The Cavs already showed their need for playoff experience in their embarrassing loss to the New York Knicks in Round One.
Strus had never reached the NBA Finals before then, and the Heat were up against the clear cut favorites. Realistically, Strus would likely perform better on a team more prepared for that environment. While the Heat earned their spot in the NBA Finals, the drastic difference in depth between the rosters became cataclysmic for Miami.
On the Cavaliers, Strus would not be looked to carry the team to victory as constant underdogs playing on the road. Though the Cavs struggled in the postseason, their work in the regular season secured just over 50 wins and home court advantage against New York.
Bringing Strus to the wine and gold would suggest that the Cavaliers believe his NBA Finals struggles were due to circumstance rather than personal ability. Looking at Strus’ success, it’s clear there’s a lot to like.
Regardless of one poor series, his cultural fit in Cleveland cannot be ignored.