Pro No. 2: Winning culture
Max Strus would not be joining the Cavaliers and leaving a broken team. If the Heat did not have as many hefty contracts on the books, his return to South Beach would be no question.
In the face of giants, the Heat overcame. At every step along the way, audiences and commentators could not help but praise Miami for their hard-nosed, no excuses culture as a team.
The Heat took numerous players who were undrafted or were seemingly forgotten by the league and elevated them to be star role players in Florida.
Max Strus’ rise came from perseverance and willingness to do what it takes. That sort of mindset is something that could save the Cavaliers in tough moments.
Cleveland was 10th in the league for clutch games, winning 53.3 percent of them, and went to overtime seven times last year. Though the Cavaliers won all of their overtime contests, the Cavs often found themselves in a bitter fight in the final quarter.
Max Strus could light a fire under the Cavaliers and insert an energy and will to win each night. He would be the oldest player in the starting five and the only one with NBA Finals experience, giving him the chance to be a cultural leader in Cleveland. Every young core is grateful for veteran perspectives. Max Strus has that.
Playing next to Jimmy Butler surely taught Strus how to win mentally and translate that onto the court. In both 2020 and now 2023, Butler’s Finals performances have astonished the viewer. Learning from a gritty player such as Butler would give Strus an edge of great benefit for the Cavaliers.
While Heat Culture can unlock a player’s potential, removing them from that system might hurt their productivity.