The Miami Heat will adjust their lineup after projected starter Rodney Mcgruder sustained a stress fracture in his left leg. According to several reports, McGruder will undergo surgery next week and is expected to be out for at least three months.

McGruder's injury is a challenging setback for Miami. As mentioned, he was likely a part of the Heat's starting lineup for their upcoming campaign. Now, head coach Erik Spoelstra and his staff must replace him immediately.

The Miami Herald suggested two young players who could take the responsibilities of McGruder while he is on the sideline.

These are Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson. Winslow has experienced being a starter for the Heat last season. Unfortunately, he was limited to 18 games due to wrist and shoulder injuries. In this year's preseason, Winslow is staging his comeback, but he is struggling. Richardson, on the other hand, is thriving for the Heat. The 24-year-old is coming off a year where he dealt with his fair share of health issues, though he performed well as a starter and a reserve.

With Winslow still trying to regain his old form after a long layoff, it looks like Richardson is the best candidate to replace McGruder in the Heat's starting five.

Breakout season

The 2017-18 NBA season may be a breakout year for Josh Richardson, especially if he gets the starting nod from Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra.

If Spoelstra decides to give the starting small forward job to someone else, there will still be various opportunities for Richardson to rise. The former Tennessee Volunteers standout is a versatile talent and is capable of playing different positions. These attributes can help him have a terrific year for the Heat. He has the potential to join the likes of Hassan Whiteside, Dion Waiters, and Goran Dragic as the faces of the franchise for Miami.

Preseason closer

In other Miami Heat matters, the team will be ending its preseason today when it takes on the Philadelphia 76ers at the Sprint Center. The Heat currently holds a 3-2 record this preseason and just won Wednesday against the Washington Wizards, 117-115. In Friday's contest versus the 76ers, the Heat might reveal who is going to replace Rodney McGruder in the starting unit.

Following this, the Heat will get ready for their regular season opener on October 18. They are set to visit the Orlando Magic before heading back to Miami for a six-game homestand.