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Who is Miami Heat guard Max Strus? And where did he come from?
Unless you’re a diehard NBA fan, or a DePaul basketball enthusiast, the name Max Strus probably didn’t mean much to you until … well, opening this article.
In fact, there’s a good chance you didn’t know Miami Heat center Max Strus is, in fact, a shooting guard — and not a center at all — until I just told you so.
So who is this anonymous Heat player who’s suddenly getting bench minutes, dropping a career-high 21 points in 25 minutes off the bench Thursday night against the Houston Rockets and becoming the No. 1 trend on Twitter in the process?
Well, read on and find out.
Max Strus is yet another success story for the Heat’s development program
Duncan Robinson, Bam Adebayo, Precious Achiuwa — these are just some of the names that Miami’s developmental program has turned into productive or even great NBA players. It might not be long before Strus adds his name to the list.
Of course, the 24-year-old guard has had to work hard for this opportunity. After going undrafted out of DePaul in 2019, he was signed to the Boston Celtics’ Summer League team. Despite averaging 9.8 points per game and shooting 45 percent from 3-point range there, the Celtics’ decision to bump him up from a two-way contract to a regular NBA contract ultimately led to him being cut before training camp.
After Boston waived him, he signed a two-way contract with the Chicago Bulls. Strus tallied 5 points in only two games last season with the Bulls before tearing his ACL while playing for the team’s G League affiliate, the Windy City Bulls.
However, he showed promise in his 13 G League appearances, averaging 18.2 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. That was enough to land him a training camp contract with the Heat heading into the 2020-21 campaign. That turned into a two-way contract, and with the Heat dealing with a ton of injuries and players sidelined by COVID-19 protocol, Strus was suddenly needed.
In 14 appearances for Miami, the 6-foot-5 guard has put up 7.0 points in a mere 14.7 minutes per game. He’s shooting 51.5 percent from the floor and a scorching-hot 42.6 percent from 3-point range. On Thursday night, he had his finest performance yet with 21 points on 5-of-8 shooting from 3-point range.
He also just so happened to posterize John Wall, who probably had no idea who Strus was heading into the night.
From training camp and Summer League contracts to the No. 1 trend on Twitter, Max Strus is looking to make a name for himself with the shorthanded Heat. We’ll see if he’s able to make the most of his opportunity as the latest success story for the Heat’s developmental program.