Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

INSIDER: Heat Start With Question Mark ?

Josh Friedman
October 13, 2017 - 1:00 pm
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The Heat was dealt a blow with the start of the season just days away.  Rodney McGruder, who started 65 games for the Heat last season, has a stress fracture in his left tibia. The Vertical reported that he'll likely have surgery next month and that he'll be out 3-6 months but a Heat spokesman said until surgery is performed, they won't know the timetable for his return.
 
Now Spoelstra has several options at small forward.  Josh Richardson, who just signed a 4 year/$42M extension, is one possibility. Justise Winslow is another who could start until McGruder heals. Another possibility is James Johnson, who parlayed a very successful one year campaign with the Heat last season, into a 4 year/$60M extension. JJ has checked his ego at the door and said repeatedly that he doesn't care if he starts or comes off the bench.
 
You know who also has that unselfish attitude? Free agent Kelly Olynyk, who left Boston to sign a 4 year deal with Miami. He said he's fine with either starting or being part of the 2nd unit.  The reason that was even brought up is that in this preseason, Spo has experimented by starting Olynyk alongside fellow 7-footer Hassan Whiteside. The Heat's version of twin towers.  Whenever Spo is asked about it, a smile comes across his face and you can tell he's imagining the possibilities this presents and the challenges it would make for opposing defenses.  Olynyk is a good enough passer to create spacing and facilitate ball movement.  There are a myriad of interesting story lines surrounding the Heat as the season is about to commence. But to me, this out of the box idea by Spo is as compelling as any of them.

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