Justise Winslow
Miami Heat forward Justise Winslow shoots against the defense of Philadelphia 76ers forward Robert Covington and forward Elton Brand. Reuters/ Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat failed to make the NBA playoffs despite an impressive run towards the end of the 2016-17 regular season. One player who was not around since January is Justise Winslow. The 10th overall pick in the 2015 Draft went down with a shoulder injury but could return this summer.

Ideally, that would be welcome news for team president Pat Riley and coach Erik Spoelstra. Looking down their roster, a Justise Winslow return could cause problems than solution. A lot of that will depend on how stays and who goes – particularly in the guard/forward positions.

One thing going for Justise Winslow is that Erik Spoelstra has big plans for the 21-year-old swingman from Duke. Like most young stars, Winslow has had his share of setbacks. Aside from the recent shoulder injury, he did deal with a wrist injury as well, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

Winslow is a bomb waiting to explode. Spoelstra has yet to make use of his full potential and a return from injury this summer could do just that. The Heat coach singles out the versatility in defense and making tough plays, key components which account for a promising NBA star.

Pat Riley is expected to say similar things but does this secure the future of Winslow? Most believe the personnel movement will dictate his fate.

There is the 2017 NBA Draft where the Heat would pick 14th and then the free agent market. They do have veterans like James Johnson and Dion Waiters, both who are on track to be re-signed. With redundant positions looming, would Miami take the chance and wait on Winslow to get back to 100-percent game shape?

There is a chance that Winslow could be included in trades, depending on who Miami targets. But until that comes into full play, the 21-year-old knows he has a lot of ground to cover per his interview with the Miami Herald.

“I love challenges. I don't want an easy route. I don't think anyone wants an easy route. Easy routes aren't fun. Just go out there and fight for what you want.”

Unless Winslow suffers any setback, he should be back to rejoin the Heat for contact work. But even if he does, the Heat’s last run could make it tough for Winslow to crack. There are players who have blossomed with the Spoelstra system so adding the swingman could be another tough challenge ahead.