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#pounditSaturday, June 3, 2023

Heat likely to lose notable player in offseason?

Erik Spoelstra looking on

Nov 30, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra reacts during a break as they take on the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

One player may be on his last legs in South Beach.

Sean Deveney of Heavy Sports spoke this week with an anonymous Eastern Conference executive who expects that forward Max Strus will leave the Miami Heat this offseason.

“I think Strus is most likely gone because he will get a competitive offer, something around what Caleb Martin got [three years, $20 million],” the executive was quoted as saying. “I don’t know that [the Heat] want to pay him that. He has not shot that well this year, but he is clearly a really good rotation player in the NBA.”

The undrafted Strus rose to prominence with the Heat last season, emerging as one of their best 3-and-D role players. He shot a smoldering 41.0 percent from distance and was even involved in one of the biggest plays of Miami’s Eastern Conference Finals run.

But Strus has taken a step backwards this season with just a 33.7 percent success rate from three (and 40.2 percent from the field overall). The Heat have also been getting quality two-way play from Caleb Martin and recently added another floor-spacer in Kevin Love, resulting in Strus often being left off the floor in crunch time.

The 26-year-old Strus will now be an unrestricted free agent this summer. With the last big contract that they gave to a sharpshooter coming back to bite them in the rear, that may add another layer of hesistance for Miami when it comes to bringing Strus back this offseason.


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