Who’s in, who’s out for Heat’s preseason finale against 76ers

MIAMI — The Heat will enter the preseason finale without a few notable names.

Guard Goran Dragic did not travel with the team to Kansas City for Friday’s game against the 76ers, as he’s been excused from the trip with his wife and children arriving to Miami from Europe on Thursday night. Dragic, who led Slovenia to the EuroBasket championship in September, was not expected to play in the contest anyway after missing the past three preseason games to make sure he’s rested for the start of the regular season.

Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters talks with center Hassan Whiteside during the second quarter of an NBA preseason basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017 at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, Fla. (David Santiago/Miami Herald/TNS)

Forward Okaro White is in Kansas City for Friday’s preseason finale, but he won’t play after suffering a left shoulder injury during Wednesday’s win over the Wizards. Coach Erik Spoelstra classified the injury as a “tweak” and “mild sprain.”

White said he hurt his shoulder trying to fight through a screen and compared the pain to “a stinger.”

“It was a big-time relief to know it was a sprain,” White said Thursday. “We went through the protocol. I got good movement and stuff. It’s just real sore right now.”

The Heat will also be without Rodney McGruder, who was one of the top candidates to begin the season as the starting small forward.

McGruder has been diagnosed with a stress fracture in his left tibia, according to a Heat spokesperson. He’s still being evaluated and the Heat have yet to announce how long he will be out, although the Vertical is reporting McGruder will “likely undergo surgery” and miss 3 to 6 months.

With all those players unavailable, Spoelstra wouldn’t rule out playing center Hassan Whiteside and guard Dion Waiters against the 76ers on Friday. Both players missed Wednesday’s game against Washington for rest purposes.

“Hassan and Dion, I may give them a little bit of run,” Spoelstra said.

Friday’s game against Philadelphia is the final contest on Miami’s preseason schedule. The Heat open the regular season in Orlando against the Magic on Wednesday.

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