NBA Executive: Gabe Vincent, Max Strus Worth Up to $15M Per Year After Postseason Performances

NBA Executive: Gabe Vincent, Max Strus Worth Up to $15M Per Year After Postseason Performances article feature image

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That the Miami Heat are three games away from a title is remarkable. But who they are riding on to be here is even better.

Five players have played more than 60% of game minutes in the playoffs — Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Caleb Martin, Gabe Vincent and Max Strus.

Butler and Adebayo make $68 million combined, marking 45% of the Heat’s payroll. Meanwhile, Martin, Vincent and Strus make a combined $10 million, 6.6% of their $151 million spend. That 6.6% of the Heat payroll has scored 33.3% of the team’s points in the playoffs, thanks to the fact that Victor Oladipo and Tyler Herro have been out.

The Heat have Martin back for another year and do hold Vincent and Strus’ Bird rights, but they are unrestricted free agents, which means insane bumps in salary are coming.

Just look at how much the Heat have doled out. Both Vincent and Strus are arguably better than Duncan Robinson, who they gave a five-year deal at an average annual value of $18 million a year. And remember — after winning the Sixth Man of the Year — they gave Tyler Herro $30 million per year over four. Herro has sat out for the bulk of the playoffs after getting surgery on his right hand.

“I could see [Vincent and Strus] signing deals in the $15 million a year range,” said one NBA front office executive.

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First, let’s talk about their stories. Yes, the tales of Vincent and Strus have been told, but their journey has been so hard to believe, it shouldn’t ever become old hat.

Vincent, who played his ball at UC Santa Barbara, went undrafted in 2018 and played in the G League before signing with the Heat on a two-way in 2020.

Strus came out of DePaul after playing two years in DII. He went undrafted, got a look from the Bulls then tore his ACL. He then won a roster spot with the Heat, who then signed him on a two-way.

The two are averaging 13.9 and 10 points a game, respectively, this postseason, with starring roles in some games. Vincent scored 23 in Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday and 29 in the Heat’s 26 point blowout in Miami in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

After going 0-for-10 from the field in Game 1, Strus scored 14 in Game 2, his 10th double-digit scoring result in 20 postseason games.

Plenty of teams need Strus and Vincent, but the front office source told the Action Network the market may be limited to bad teams that are willing to up minutes and responsibilities for the once-unheralded duo.

“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,” the front office exec said. “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.”

Asked whether he’d pick Strus or Vincent, all else being equal, the source said Vincent. “Strus sets up on the floor for his shot,” he said. “There’s nothing wrong with that. But Vincent is more of a creator.”

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