Dion Waiters - Dion Waiters went down last year and missed about all of the season. He is still not ready to go back as far as opening night goes, but has been ramping up basketball activity. While Waiters is not a consistent scorer, he does give the Heat some much needed scoring at times. Waiters is likely going to come back slow, and even when he returns to the court, minutes will be limited at first. At this time it seems like Waiters will be coming back closer to December.
Justise Winslow - In the first game for Miami, Justise Winslow pulled his hamstring, which left them pretty thin at the power forward position. Winslow might be sitting out for a while until he can get back to 100%. This would leave Rodney McGruder to be the guy starting and to get more run. With James Johnson out for a while, the Heat will continue to rely on their bigs to play both the four and the five. They also have the option to go small against smaller teams.
James Johnson - James Johnson is expected to miss a bit of the opening part of the season dealing with the aftermath of surgery for a hernia. Johnson was slated to be the starting power forward, although he would likely be switched to the bench at some point given his energy. Johnson will leave Kelly Olynyk and various true small forwards to pick up most of the minutes until he gets back.
Top Injuries in Franchise History
The Heat have had a lot of superstars come through their organization, and in more recent injuries we had Shaquille O’Neal go down with surgery to repair torn cartilage in the 2006 season. Shaq would later come back and have a strong season. In the later stages of Alonzo Mourning’s career, he was out for most of the 2007 season with a torn patellar tendon. Jason Richards had a torn ACL back in 2008, and in that same season James Jones had surgery on his wrist to repair a torn ligament. Dwayne Wade had some good injury luck in his career, although as he got older, you started to see him wear down a bit more and pop up with injuries that took longer to recover from.
Moving into the LeBron James era, the big three remained pretty healthy throughout. At most the biggest LeBron injury was a broken nose in the 2014 season. After the era was over, the bigger injury was Chris Bosh not being able to play anymore due to blood clots. Bosh’s career was prematurely cut short, but he had one of the better careers as a front court option. In more later years for the Heat, Josh Richardson started off the 2016 season by tearing his MCL. He would only miss a few months, and later return. Justise Winslow had to have surgery to repair a torn labrum back in 2017, where he missed the rest of the season.