Max Strus, the apostle of the Summer League

In the NBA, it is often said that each course is unique. That of Max Strus is particularly so.

After a full college course of four seasons, two at Lewis University in the NCAA second division, two at DePaul University, the rear was not selected for the 2019 Draft.

A brutal observation, which he accepted however without fighting: the doors of the NBA were closed to him.

 » Once I left DePaul, I thought I could play overseas, in Europe. remembered Max Strus.  » But not in the NBA. But when my coach called me in his office to tell me that I absolutely had my place in the NBA, it became my obsession. It was my main objective. »

A formative Way of the Cross

In mid-July 2019, he signed a « two-way contract » with the Celtics, but was not retained in the final squad in October. A few days later, he rebounded with the Bulls, still with a « two-way contract ». Before suffering a rupture of the cruciate ligament of his left knee, a few weeks later, during a match with the Windy City Bulls, in the G-League…

After twelve months of recovery, Max Strus found his way back to the courts in December 2020. For the third time since July 2019, the Illinois native signed a « two-way », this time with the Heat. His debut in the finalist squad a few months earlier, in the sanitary bubble of Orlando, was timid: 6.1 points in 13 minutes per game (39 games).

But the boy has a hard head, and does not allow himself to be discouraged. After all, he has seen others for almost a year…

 » I stayed the course. I was not recruited when I left high school, I had to go play in the second division. Then I didn’t get drafted, I got cut, I got hurt. I have all these things in my memory, which push me and motivate me. »

The Summer League, the missing spark

Then comes the summer of 2021. While he struggled to find a concrete place in Erik Spoelstra’s rotation during his first « real » season in the NBA, Max Strus decided to participate in the Summer League in Las Vegas, with the Miami team. A harmless decision, almost insignificant at the time, but which ultimately proved to be the turning point of his young career.

 » Last year’s Summer League changed everything for me. It’s an experience that gave me all the confidence I needed, and allowed me to do what I did last season. ” recalled the Heat player, who had signed an impressive series of four games, at 20.8 points and 40% success behind the arc.  » I played little when I was on a two-way contract. But they still thought that I could turn a corner, they believed in me. »

Shortly after, in August, Max Strus’ efforts were rewarded: he signed a guaranteed two-year contract with the Heat. After the disappointment with the Celtics, the serious injury with the Bulls and the low playing time with the Heat, the back finally sees the light at the end of the tunnel.

After a “simple” successful Summer League.  » I think people will remember that I was this player still in the Summer League when he was in his third season in the NBA. He went, and it was the best decision he could make. summarizes Strus.

A 2021/22 season at 10.6 points and 41% 3-point success later, Max Strus, who has become a central element of the Heat’s attack, has therefore finally found his place in the NBA, at 26 years old. Thus further strengthening the reputation of his club, which has no equal in the Great League when it comes to internally training players unknown to the general public, to make them quality « role players ». .

 » I am established now. I think I’m an established NBA player. I started every game in the playoffs, so I’m here to stay I think. said the Miami sniper.  » Last year, when I went to the Summer League, no one was supposed to know my name. Today, they certainly know who I am. »

Max Strus Percentage Bounces
Season Crew GM Minimum Shots 3 points LF Off Def Early pd party Int bp CT Points
2019-20 CHI 2 3 66.7 0.0 100.0 0.5 0.0 0.5 0.0 0.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.5
2020-21 MIA 39 13 45.5 33.8 66.7 0.1 0.9 1.1 0.6 1.1 0.3 0.2 0.1 6.1
2021-22 MIA 68 23 44.1 41.0 79.2 0.4 2.6 3.0 1.4 1.7 0.4 0.8 0.2 10.6
Total 109 19 44.6 39.1 75.6 0.3 2.0 2.2 1.1 1.5 0.4 0.6 0.2 8.8

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