Could one of the Miami Heat’s most promising young players be on the move?
A February 6 column courtesy of The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson and Anthony Chiang says it’s possible.
“According to a source, the Heat also has received trade calls on Max Strus, who will be a free agent this summer,” Jackson and Chiang reported. “The Heat has interest in re-signing Strus this summer but is willing to listen to offers on most players on the roster.”
Strus has been with the Heat since the 2020-2021 season, and he has shown steady improvements each year, which explains why multiple teams may find him desirable. Ian Begley of SNY reported in November of 2022 that the Phoenix Suns were interested in adding Straus in a possible swap for forward Jae Crowder, but that never materialized.
Will the Suns or another team make Miami an offer it can’t refuse before the trade deadline?
Keeping Max Strus Around May Benefit Heat in the Long Run
Strus is having a career year with the Heat. The 26-year-old forward is averaging 29.8 minutes a game, and he’s scoring 12.5 points, grabbing 3.6 rebounds and dishing out 2.1 assists, all career-bests. Strus is also shooting 89.2% from the free throw line (all stats via Basketball Reference).
His 3-point shooting is down a bit from last year (343 this season, .410 last season), which is less than ideal, but his defense has been solid. He’s averaging a career-high 0.7 steals per game and the Heat also tend to look better when he’s in the starting lineup. Miami was 14-2 in games Strus started last year.
The 6-foot-6 wing is set to be a free agent at season’s end, and he could cash in if he has a strong second half of the season. He inked a two-year deal worth $3,421,816 with the Heat in 2021, and it’s safe to say he’ll be making far more than that when he signs his next contract.
The Heat want to keep him, but his name will be one to watch over the next few days.
Strus Isn’t the Only Heat Player Getting Mentioned in Trade Talks
Jackson and Chiang also reported that “The Heat continues to look for a power rotation player as Thursday’s deadline approaches, while also trying to trade veteran center Dewayne Dedmon.”
The Heat have also changed their stance on dealing starting point guard Kyle Lowry according to the report.
“The Miami Heat has been receiving inquiries about point guard Kyle Lowry, and he’s now among several Heat players in play as Thursday’s NBA trade deadline approaches,” Jackson and Chiang wrote. “The Heat initially had no interest in dealing Lowry. But the team’s position has softened recently, and Miami is now open to trades involving Lowry if the team is offered a deal it views as advantageous, according to a source in contact with the team.”
Miami currently has a record of 29-25 and sit in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, just a half game ahead of the New York Knicks. The Heat have lost two in a row and are .500 over their last 10 games, so it will be intriguing to see what they do with the trade deadline approaching.