The remaining half-dozen of the Miami Heat’s COVID-19 replacement players have had their 10-day contracts officially expire as of Sunday.
The aforementioned six are: Kyle Guy, Haywood Highsmith, Chris Silva, Nik Stauskas, Mario Chalmers and Aric Holman. Each of their contracts expired after Saturday’s 23-point win against the Phoenix Suns.
Guy, Highsmith, Stauskas and Silva were the only of Miami’s 10-day replacements to see the floor; the former two saw more than 60 minutes each, while the latter pair didn’t see more than 42 minutes. Chalmers, a two-time NBA champion with Miami while spending his first seven-and-a-half seasons with the organization (2008-16), did not play after the 35-year-old played in two G-League games (56 minutes) with the Grand Rapids Gold before inking the 10-day with Miami.
Guy was unquestionably the most impressive of the bunch — tallying 49 total points in 101 minutes with eight rebounds, 13 assists, four steals and one block, shooting 18-of-35 (51.4 percent) from the floor and 9-of-20 (45.0 percent) from 3-point range. His per game averages sat at 9.8 points, 1.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 0.8 steals in 20.2 minutes — equating to 17.5 points, 2.9 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.4 steals per 36 minutes.
Highsmith and Silva also showed brief flashes of quality play in their abbreviated playing time. Highsmith took seven of his eight shots from beyond the arc, knocking down four of them — accounting for all 12 of his points (in 42 minutes). He also had five rebounds and a block. Silva recorded 26 rebounds — 10 offensive — to 24 points at a 61.5 percent clip (8-13) in 61 minutes; Silva tallied 14.2 points while grabbing 15.3 boards (5.9 offensive) per 36 minutes.
All six of the aforementioned players are now free agents and can sign with any team.
“With these hardship guys, how appreciative we are of those guys throughout the whole league — not just our team — is incredible,” Kyle Lowry said after Sunday’s game against Phoenix. “They really kind of helped us keep this season going. Without those guys, the hardship guys, the 10-day guys, the G-League guys and guys coming and just playing and helping and just being bodies — it’s incredible. We appreciate them, from deep down in my heart and through our whole league. We thank you guys. We appreciate it.”
Suns star guard Chris Paul echoed the same sentiment after fans were heckling former 10-day player Emanuel Terry:
My @NBAonTNT report on Phoenix Suns star Chris Paul who had words with a few fans in Boston who were insulting 10-day signee Emanuel Terry. I detailed his message and the outcome. pic.twitter.com/4BYdKkNcRY— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) January 7, 2022
The Heat could theoretically sign Guy or any of the other hardship players with their final roster spot. But that spot is likely to be filled elsewhere — with Heat guard Caleb Martin, currently on a two-way contract, as the presumed front-runner as of right now (read more about why he deserves it, here).
That final spot won’t likely be filled until later in the season when it’s not pushed past the ~$136.6M luxury tax threshold, which they’re trying to avoid for repeater tax purposes. Miami could also clear up an extra roster spot — or multiple — ahead of the Feb. 10 trade deadline to sign available free agents, too.
The 10-day contracts of Kyle Guy, Aric Holman and Haywood Highsmith have expired and all three now are free agents. Mario Chalmers, Chris Silva and Nik Stauskas will become free agents today, with the expiration of their Heat 10-day contracts.— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) January 9, 2022
It’s the little things that you appreciate more the 2nd time around……Thank you https://t.co/ManOerJVkR— Mario Chalmers (@mchalmers15) January 9, 2022