Early on, Strus is showing how he’ll be seamless fit offensively with Cavs

Isaac Okoro and Max Strus, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Isaac Okoro and Max Strus, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

When the Cleveland Cavaliers acquired Max Strus by way of sign-and-trade over the summer, it was evident Cleveland was prioritizing bringing in more shooting. The additions of Strus, Georges Niang and Ty Jerome all fit that billing, and all should give Cleveland more options to go to on the outside.

Of the players added over the offseason, Strus looks to be the one who’s set for the most significant role. One could suggest the re-signing of Caris LeVert could be as well; that’s splitting hairs to a large degree.

In Strus’ case, he’ll have tons of opportunities as a perimeter sniper this coming season, and no matter the splits, his presence should have a profound effect for Cleveland’s offense.

He hit 197 three-point shots last regular season for the Miami Heat, and with how well he moves without the ball and his movement shooting proficiency, he should make a difference from the jump. It’s early, and still preseason, but he has shown how he should fit seamlessly with a variety of Cavaliers players in games.

Strus has demonstrated how he should fit in seamlessly on offense with a number of Cavs.

The Cavs have had just two preseason outings, and the regular season has not tipped off yet, but Strus’ activity and movement sense has been great to watch thus far.

This has not led to gaudy splits in both games, in fairness, as Strus went one-of-four from three-point range in the preseason loss to the Atlanta Hawks, with one assist and one turnover.

He did respond well with more run in Cleveland’s L to the Orlando Magic, on the plus side. Then, he had 13 points on four-of-eight shooting, including going three-of-seven from three, and tacked on six rebounds, five assists and a steal.

Granted, Strus did have five turnovers and four fouls in his 24 minutes then, and there’s going to be some things he and the team will need to iron out defensively. Those caveats aside, with players such as Strus and Niang involved, the offense has often looked more fluid much of last year.

As it pertains to Strus, his shooting presence has aided Cleveland’s drivers and on-ball threats, and while there might be some inconsistency early on, he’ll make defenses pay for overhelping or having miscommunications. In those instances, or as a kickout target, he’ll give Cleveland’s key playmakers a great off-ball target to look to in the corners or as a relocating shooter on the wing.

Strus will give the Cavaliers a polished movement shooter to go throughout games as well, and with him being a solid screener, Cleveland should be able to utilize him to help others such as Garland and Mitchell to get them easy looks, too. The same could go for them as cutters at times, also.

Along with the off-ball skill set in set situations, Strus is a deadly catch-and-shoot threat in transition, and though the turnovers can’t be a regular occurrence, he can be a useful ball movement option for the Cavs. He demonstrated he can help his clubs as a secondary playmaker last season with Miami, and there have been glimpses of that early in preseason with Cleveland.

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Regardless of the splits to this point so early and still in preseason, based on his off-ball skill set and abilities in set and transition offense, Strus should fit seamlessly with a plethora of Cavs offensively. And as he gets more acclimated with his new situation, he should be able to make an impact on both ends.