Max Strus’s playoff run has earned him a potential raise when he hits free agency. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
PLAYER CONTRACTS STATS & ANALYSIS

How Undervalued is Max Strus’s Contract?

Strus is on a 2-year, $3,421,816 contract with the Miami Heat, but in a postseason where he has been key to their run, you could argue he deserves more than that.

Max Strus has become a reliable long-range shooter for the Miami Heat this postseason, and his defensive ability — plus an injury-riddled roster — has allowed him to increase his minutes and shine even further.

Behind the leadership of Jimmy Butler, some tenacity on defense, and the emergence of Duncan Robinson and Strus, the Heat have managed to make it to the Eastern Conference Finals, a destination carved out for the Brooklyn Nets or Milwaukee Bucks before the season began.

Despite being on a free agent minimum contract, the 26-year-old sharpshooter is performing at a high level. With that in mind, let’s measure just how undervalued Miami’s Max Strus contract really is compared to other shooting guards around the NBA.

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Max Strus Salary and Contract Details

All dollar figures via Spotrac.

Age: 26
Active contract length: 2 years
Total value: $3,421,816
Average annual value (AAV): $1,710,908
2021-22 salary: $1,669,178 

Free Agency: 2023 (Unrestrictred)

How Much Does Strus Make Per Postseason Three-Pointer?

  • As of this writing, Strus has scored 126 points from the three-point line this postseason (42 makes), which is good for seventh in the entire NBA. If Strus were only paid based on made threes in the playoffs, with a salary of $1.6 million, he has earned $38,095 for every made three-point field goal.
  • To compare, Stephen Curry leads the NBA with 168 points from three-point land this postseason (56 makes) out of his 380 total playoff points. With a salary of $45,780,966, the three-point king has earned a staggering $789,327 for every made three in the playoffs.

Sure, this is the first postseason where Strus has earned significant minutes. But his outstanding play has earned the trust of coach Erik Spoelstra over the likes of Tyler Herro and Victor Oladipo.

Where Does Strus’s Salary Rank Among NBA SGs?

Highest-paid NBA Shooting Guards in 2021-22 (Total Cash)

  1. Paul George (LAC): $39.3M
    2. Klay Thompson (GSW): $37.9M
    3. Bradley Beal (WAS): $33.7M
    4. Jrue Holiday (MIL): $32.4M
    5. Devin Booker (PHX): $31.6M
    6. Donovan Mitchell (UTH): $28.1M
    7. DeMar DeRozan (CHI): $26M
    8. Jaylen Brown (BOS): $25.3M
    9. Tim Hardaway Jr. (DAL): $21.3M
    10. Gary Harris (ORL): $20.4M

    95. Max Strus (MIA): $1.6M

Highest-paid NBA SG in 2021-22 (Contract AAV)

  1. Paul George (LAC): $44M
    2. James Harden (PHI): $42.7M
    3. Klay Thompson (GSW): $37.9M
    4. Bradley Beal (WAS): $35M
    5. Jrue Holiday (MIL): $33.7M
    6. C.J. McCollum (NOP): $33.3M
    7. Donovan Mitchell (UTH): $32.6M
    8. Devin Booker (PHX): $31.6M
    9. DeMar DeRozan (CHI): $27.3M
    10. Jaylen Brown (BOS): $26.5M

    93. Max Strus (MIA): $1.7M

2021-22 Max Strus Stats (As of the date written)

Regular season averages

Points: 10.6
Rebounds: 3.0
Assists: 1.4
FG percentage: 44.1%
3-point Percentage: 41.0%

Postseason averages 

Points: 111.4
Rebounds: 4.1
Assists: 2.0
FG percentage: 39.7%
3-point Percentage: 35.0% 

Is Max Strus underpaid?

Extremely. Especially for his production this postseason. The Miami Heat have found a hidden gem on the roster that they won’t have to worry about paying big money for at least another season. Even with a small sample size, Strus is already proving that he can score over tall defenders as a spot-up shooter or coming off of a pick-and-roll, and be a valuable piece to a team on a postseason run.

Without a doubt, Strus has earned a raise beyond a free agent minimum contract. His stats have elevated to those of a sixth man for most teams around the league. If the Heat choose not to pay Strus when the time comes, other teams around the league will undoubtedly take their chances on the rapidly improving marksman.

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