The Cleveland Cavaliers got their man on the second day of free agency, agreeing to a four-year, $63 million dollar deal with Miami Heat sharpshooter Max Strus. This was part of a sign-and-trade between the Cavs, Heat, and San Antonio Spurs that saw Cavs’ fan favorites Cedi Osman and Lamar Stevens head to the Spurs, a second-round pick to the Heat, and obviously Strus to the Land.
The Cavaliers had one clear goal this offseason and that was to add shooters to a roster that was clearly lacking them. They accomplished their goal by not only landing Strus but also signing sharpshooter Georges Niang as well. After the ice-cold shooting that the Cavs displayed under the “brighter than expected lights” of Madison Square Garden against the New York Knicks, these were the right moves to make.
While Strus does help solve the Cavaliers’ wing problem, he also helps them out in other ways that can elevate them.
No. 1: Shooting, shooting, and…shooting!
The Cavs shooting dipped drastically in the playoffs after a solid showing in the regular season. After finishing 12th in the league in three-point shooting during the regular season at 37 percent, the Cavaliers dipped to 33 percent during their playoff series loss to the Knicks. It seemed much worse than that, as in Games 3 and 4 of that series, Cleveland shot a porous 13-of-56 from three. That is good for 23 percent. However, it was not just about the threes the Cavs took and missed.
It was also about the ones they didn’t take, especially when it came to embattled wing Isaac Okoro. Okoro was wide open from the corner multiple times from three in the Knicks series and he did not take them. The Knicks were daring him to shoot and he wouldn’t too often.
Cleveland needed someone that will shoot those kinds of looks without any hesitation and that is what Strus provides. Strus shot 46 percent on corner threes last season, and he also shot 36 percent on catch-and-shoot looks last season as well, but often on movement looks. What is really great about Strus though is that 70% of his shot attempts this season were from three-point range.
The guy is not afraid to let it fly, and that is what the Cavaliers have been lacking on offense. They needed someone on the wing that primarily shoots threes and makes them at a decent clip as well, and preferably is a multifaceted shooter.