Question 1 – Will Max Strus make enough impact on the wing?
In the Cavaliers’ sign-and-trade for Strus, they routed both Cedi Osman and Lamar Stevens to San Antonio, swapping two forwards for one in return.
Strus will undoubtedly be Cleveland’s best shooting wing, compared to Caris LeVert and Isaac Okoro. But, will he be enough?
While Strus’ offense both inside and outside of the 3-point line shows dynamic scoring ability, his defense and undersized build could leave the Cavaliers fighting uphill battles against some of the NBA’s elite.
Standing at 6-foot-5, Max Strus is a shorter option at the three spot. Against taller forward stars such as LeBron James, Jayson Tatum, and others, Strus’ mismatch could be easily exposed if the Cavs do not make the right adjustments.
Though Isaac Okoro at 6-foot-5 was Cleveland’s answer on defense for plenty of these players, his size still was a cause for concern in certain matchups. In those situations, Lamar Stevens was often deployed as the next man up. With Stevens gone, the Cavs could be at a serious disadvantage.
Regardless of Strus’ defense, he will have to carry the majority of the offensive load for the wing position. LeVert played most of his minutes as a guard by the end of the season, and Okoro’s offense still leaves a lot to be desired.
In reality, bringing Strus to Cleveland is only the start of building a solid wing/forward rotation. He will surely impact the Cavs positively, threatening lazy defenses on the perimeter both as as shooter and slasher. But, the minutes when Strus is not on the court, the Cavaliers will be right back where they were last year, hoping Okoro’s subpar offense will miraculously be decent enough.
Strus is not the only Cavalier whose role will need to be addressed. Another member of the Land might still be searching for his best fit.