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Heat to sign Nik Stauskas as fifth COVID replacement player

Miami hopes to have eight available players for tomorrow’s game in Houston

Cleveland Cavaliers v Miami Heat Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

Mike Singer of the Denver Post reported earlier today that the Miami Heat intend to sign former lottery pick Nik Stauskas to a 10-day contract. He is the fifth COVID replacement player Miami has signed recently — Zylan Cheatham, Kyle Guy, Aric Holman and Haywood Highsmith are the others.

Despite the widespread availability of vaccines, COVID-19 has upended NBA rosters during this season. Kyle Lowry, Max Strus, Udonis Haslem, Cheatham, P.J. Tucker and Gabe Vincent are all in health and safety protocols. Moreover, Bam Adebayo, Dewayne Dedmon, Markieff Morris and Victor Oladipo are all injured.

Miami’s road game against the San Antonio Spurs scheduled for Dec. 29 was postponed because the Heat did not have eight available players. Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald reported that it appears Miami will have at least eight players available for Friday night’s road game against the Houston Rockets.

Originally drafted with the eighth overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Stauskas has not played in the NBA since the 2018-19 season. He’s a shooting guard, so he appears to fill in the Max Strus role for his 10-day contract.

Some Heat fans have wondered why Miami has not signed the two players they drafted in 2008, Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers.