Report: Miami Heat sitting out numerous key players vs. San Antonio Spurs

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Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat reportedly will play their next preseason game on Friday against the San Antonio Spurs without almost all of their top players.

Jimmy Butler, Caleb Martin, Nikola Jovic, Jaime Jaquez Jr., Josh Richardson, Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro, Kevin Love and Kyle Lowry will not participate.

The road game at San Antonio is a potential matchup against heralded 2023 No. 1 draft pick Victor Wembanyama, who is set to play his first home game since arriving in the NBA.

The Heat opened the preseason at home on Tuesday with a 113-109 win against the Charlotte Hornets. Herro led Miami with 22 points and was joined in the starting lineup by Love, Adebayo, Lowry and Richardson.

Jaquez played 24 minutes off the bench and contributed 13 points, seven rebounds and two assists. The 22-year-old rookie reportedly injured his groin at practice on Wednesday.

Miami has preseason home games upcoming against the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday and Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday, which could be a good opportunity to get Butler into action. The 34-year-old team leader arrived at media day sporting a new emo look and hairstyle.

After waiting all offseason for a Damian Lillard trade that did not happen for them, the Heat have few new players to acclimate and develop chemistry with. They do have to find players to help fill the supporting roles played by Gabe Vincent and Max Strus, who left Miami this offseason and landed with the Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers, respectively.

One player to continue to watch this preseason is Herro, who will be counted on to raise his game after he was not needed in a possible Lillard trade with the Portland Trail Blazers. The 23-year-old former NBA Sixth Man of the Year has said he is happy to be back and motivated after suffering an injury in the first game of the playoffs last season.

Butler also has dished out some praise for young players Jovic and Jaquez, and it will be interesting to see how head coach Erik Spoelstra gets all the pieces to mesh heading toward his team’s regular season opener on Oct. 25 against the Detroit Pistons.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. His introduction to the business included the legendary Heat-Knicks rivalry from the 1990s.