BOSTON — Max Strus spent just a few months with the Boston Celtics in 2019 after going undrafted out of DePaul.

But before the Celtics waived Strus — a head-scratching decision in hindsight — the sharpshooter left an impression on Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla, who was in his first season as an assistant during Strus’ brief stint with Boston.

Strus showed Mazzulla that he could do more than knock down 3-pointers as Strus proved he was pretty good with a bat in his hands, too.

“We played softball at Fenway once. I’ve never seen a guy hit it as far as he did. Crushed it,” Mazzulla said before facing off against Strus and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night at TD Garden. “It was one of the most impressive things I’ve ever seen.”

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Strus didn’t need to fall back on any baseball skills, though, beating the odds to carve out a solid NBA career to this point. The 6-foot-5, 215-pound guard developed into a premier shooter in the league as he is a career 37% shooter from beyond the arc.

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The Celtics saw plenty of Strus in recent years with the 27-year-old spending three seasons with the Miami Heat. Strus parlayed his success with the Heat — he shot 41% from downtown on 6.5 attempts per game during the 2021-22 season — into signing a four-year, $62.3 million contract with the Cavaliers this offseason.

The Cavaliers are getting strong play out of Strus, who is averaging a career-best 14.1 points per game in 24 contests. He scored 17 points, including hitting five triples, in Cleveland’s loss to the Celtics on Tuesday.

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While things didn’t work out for Strus with the Celtics, Mazzulla isn’t surprised at all that he found a way to flourish in the NBA.

“He always got here early, and just the intensity that he brought to every single workout, you could tell he was going to make it regardless of the situation that he was in just because of the mindset that he brought,” Mazzulla said. “So, really happy for him, really proud of him and he just continues to work.”

Featured image via Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports Images