Offseason Report Card: Cavaliers get an A, three Bs and two Ds for summer moves

Max Strus, Miami Heat and Georges Niang, Philadelphia 76ers. Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images
Max Strus, Miami Heat and Georges Niang, Philadelphia 76ers. Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images /
2 of 8
Cleveland Cavaliers
Max Strus, Miami Heat. Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images /

1. Max Strus sign-and-trade

Traded Cedi Osman, Lamar Stevens, two seconds for Max Strus; signed him to 4-year, $63 million contract.

The Cavaliers’ best weapon for adding a player this summer was the Mid-Level Exception, which started at $12.4 million for this upcoming season. As they (unofficially) canvassed the free agent market for a 3-and-D wing, two things quickly became apparent: there were not any high-end two-way small forwards likely to change teams, and that the limited market was going to drive prices above the MLE.

Kudos to Koby Altman and the front office for managing to find a way to spend above the MLE without cap space. They took advantage of the new CBA and its increased allotment for matching salary at mid-range levels to move two fringe rotation players in Cedi Osman and Lamar Stevens and bring back Max Strus, allowing them to shop above the MLE and retain that exception to sign another player or two (more on that in a moment).

Is Strus a good fit? He’s a versatile and high-volume shooter who is not intimidated by the playoff lights. For a team that certainly looked unsure of itself in its first trip to the playoffs, that steadiness will be a welcome addition.

Would it be better if Strus was taller than 6’5″, or a more accurate shooter than the 35 percent he shot last season? Absolutely. Would Strus ideally be a strong defender able to take on the toughest backcourt assignments in place of Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell? Certainly. A player with all of those attributes wasn’t available, and Strus will step in and make an immediate difference for their floor spacing. The Cavs had to shop from the market available, and they did that.

Grade: A-