This stat is one to keep an eye on for Cavaliers’ Max Strus in years ahead

Max Strus, Miami Heat. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)
Max Strus, Miami Heat. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images) /

Max Strus was acquired via sign-and-trade by the Cleveland Cavaliers this offseason for his perimeter shooting impact. Strus made his presence felt in that area for the Miami Heat in recent seasons, and as a result, was a player the Cavaliers were targeting this offseason.

As a result, Cleveland signed Strus to a four-year, $62.3 million deal. The move has had some critics among Cavaliers fans and nationally it seems, but in today’s league, perimeter shooting is more important than its ever been, and Strus should aid Cleveland’s spacing and off-ball play.

Strus hit 197 and previously 181 three-point shots in the past two seasons with Miami, and with his shooting capabilities, he could mesh well alongside the Cavaliers’ top offensive threats, such as Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell and Evan Mobley. Strus and Georges Niang (who made 154 threes last season with the Philadelphia 76ers) were both brought in this offseason to knock down threes, and make things easier for other Cavs players.

As it pertains to Strus, though, his splits did decrease some last season with the Heat, compared to the year prior. He hit 35.0 percent of his three-point looks, whereas that clip was 41.0 percent in 2021-22.

Along those lines in relation to his efficiency, Strus’ total points scored per 100 shot attempts was down last year. In that Cleaning The Glass site metric, Strus placed in the 43rd percentile among wings; the season prior, he placed in the 94th percentile.

That Cleaning The Glass metric is one to keep an eye on for Strus with the Cavs.

Strus had some more on-ball duties with Miami last season, which has to be factored into his splits not being quite what they were the preceding season. Defenses also had more film on him, and that, along with Miami’s injuries at various points have to be taken into account for his deep shooting percentage decreasing and his aforementioned CTG efficiency points per 100 shot attempts metric.

All of that said, if the Cavaliers are able to weaponize Strus off the ball, and guys find ways to get him going early on next season, he should be able to establish a rhythm, and in turn, help the overall group.

Strus is a shooter that defenses have to account for at all times, and that in itself is extremely valuable in today’s NBA, which is so heavily predicated on deep shooting, spacing and maximizing drive-and-kicks and rollers off of that.

Strus’ shooting presence alone is going to aid the Cavaliers on offense, and he is a dangerous shooter in transition, where he can splash looks from running the floor as well. Additionally, in set offense, Strus’ movement shooting, with his proficiency to connect on those while moving at full speed off of screens could be Kyle Korver-esque for this iteration of the Cavs.

Now, to drive the point home here, Strus received a decent chunk of change from the Cavaliers to be a knockdown, but also multifaceted off-ball player for them in years to come, including in the playoffs. Time will tell if, with this Cavs team, if Strus will deliver in a sizable way in years ahead.

He has the makings of an impact contributor and should make things easier for Garland, Mitchell, Mobley and company, clearly, though. And if he’s more efficient in that CTG total points scored per 100 shot attempts metric this coming season than last, that should be a positive indicator for Strus’ play.

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Regardless, Strus’ shooting reputation, constant movement and energy plays should make a difference for this Wine and Gold squad it seems.