Miami Heat guard Max Strus is only entering his second year with the team, his first as a standard-contract player, but he’s gunning for a bigger role for the 2021-22 NBA season and isn’t afraid of getting vocal on the court.
“That’s what Spo preaches, leadership from all levels,” Strus said, per Sun Sentinel‘s Ira Winderman. “I got a year under my belt here. I know the system. I know what we do and what we want to do. It’s not so much me telling guys what to do. It’s more so trying to help them and show them what we do.”
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While it made sense for the 6-foot-5 swingman to take on a leadership role during Miami’s summer league in Las Vegas, where he averaged 20.8 points in 31.2 minutes per game, shooting 40% from deep (18-for-45) and 39.1% from the field (27-for-69) in four contests — but on the Heat’s regular-season roster, which is filled with true NBA veterans, such as Kyle Lowry, Jimmy Butler, P.J. Tucker, and Markieff Morris — it’s a different story.
“I know who to talk to and who not to,” Strus said “with a smile,” Winderman noted. “So I’ve learned a lesson. Kyle’s told me to shut up once, but most of the time they’re pretty good with it. And they’re big talkers, as well. They want that leadership the same way. They expect it out of me and expect it out of everybody.”
“Like I know guys are veterans and have been in the league for a while, and they know what they’re doing here. By no means am I telling them what to do, but I just want to help them learn faster… I mean communication is the biggest thing to be successful. It’s something I’ve learned along the way and something I want to keep getting better at.”
Strus Is Ready to Play Whatever Role the Team Needs
While it’s not clear yet how Spoelstra will utilize Strus this season, Strus remains ready for whatever the team needs.
“It’s still early,” Strus said. “I don’t know what my role is going to be yet. We’re still trying to figure out everybody and how we all gel together. But doing that in summer league gave me all the confidence to do it, so if I’m put in that situation, I’ll be ready for it.”
“I’ll be ready for whatever my role is going to be this year and however the team is going to use me,” Strus said. During the offseason, the Heat signed Strus to a two-year deal worth $3.5 million. As a two-way player last season, he averaged 6.1 points in 39 games for Miami.
“As one of our young developing players, Max proved he can be very productive for us,” Heat president Pat Riley said. “He stepped up when needed last season and produced. His shooting and overall game is going to help our team immensely.”
Butler Is a Huge Fan of Strus
It’s always a good sign when an up-and-coming player receives accolades from the Heat’s team leader Jimmy Butler. Back in February, the five-time All-Star said he loves what he sees when it comes to Strus.
“What he does is shoot the ball,” Butler said, per NBA.com. “I’ve seen him do it every single day. I don’t care if somebody’s in front of you, if I pass you that bad baby, if Bam passes it, if you can get you a shot off, get you a shot off because that’s what you do, that’s your role on this team. And he’s really f’n good at it.”