Max Strus and Gabe Vincent have been two of the more unheralded contributors for the Miami Heat during the team’s current playoff run.
Strus averaged 14.7 points a game in the Eastern Conference semifinals against the New York Knicks and 9.4 points a game in the Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics (all stats via ESPN). Vincent has been arguably better, netting 10.3 points and dishing out 4.7 assists a game in the semis while also averaging 15.8 points a game against the Celtics.
Both Strus and Vincent are set to be unrestricted free agents once the team’s season officially concludes and according to Darren Rovell of The Action Network, that “means insane bumps in salary are coming.”
Rovell: NBA Exec Believes Strus & Vincent Set to Get Paid
Strus, 27, and Vincent, 26, are both undrafted players who have managed to make names for themselves in the postseason. According to Rovell, at least one NBA executive thinks both players are about to cash in due to their respective performances in clutch games.
“I could see [Vincent and Strus] signing deals in the $15 million a year range,” the front office exec said, adding: “I’ve invested in players who had breakouts like these guys did and they turned out to be duds because they were just good in the system they were in. If it doesn’t work out, you might never really know why. The teams that are going to be paying $12 to $15 million for Gabe Vincent and Max Strus are low- to mid-tier teams and they are going to be asked to do more on a consistent basis.”
Strus currently makes $1.7 million a year, as does Vincent, so a $14 million increase per season isn’t too shabby.
The executive was also asked who he thought the better player was between Strus and Vincent and he chose the latter. “Strus sets up on the floor for his shot,” he exec told Rovell. “There’s nothing wrong with that. But Vincent is more of a creator.”
Strus Has Been Inconsistent in Finals vs Nuggets
Through three games in the NBA Finals against the Denver Nuggets, Strus has run hot and cold, while Vincent has been a more consistent player.
Strus went 0-for-10 in Miami’s Game 1 loss, failing to score and finishing the five rebounds and three assists. He played far better in the Heat’s Game 2 win, shooting 40% from beyond the arc and finishing with 10 points. He cooled off again in Miami’s Game 3 loss, scoring three points while going 1-for-7 from downtown.
Vincent is averaging 16.3 points and 2.7 assists in three games against Denver. He has scored in double figures twice, although he had a forgettable Game 3, in which he finished with seven points after going 2-for-10 from the floor and 1-of-7 from 3-point range.
Vincent, who stepped up his game enough last season to replace veteran Kyle Lowry at point guard and move into the starting lineup, will likely end up signing for more than Strus, who has the ability to start but may be better as a role player coming off the bench.
Regardless, both have been instrumental for Miami in its Cinderella run to the Finals, and both are sure to be rewarded for it.