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NBA DRAFT: Omer Yurtseven Interviewing with NBA Teams (UPDATED)

The Turkish 7-footer has been working on his three-point shot and foot-speed

Georgetown Hoyas v Central Arkansas Bears Photo by Tony Quinn/ Images

Omer Yurtseven may have only played one season with the Georgetown Hoyas, but next month the once-and-forever Hoya will have an opportunity to be Patrick Ewing’s first NBA draft pick.

Yurtseven has reportedly interviewed with a number of teams, including Memphis.

Grizzlies interview Georgetown center Omer Yurtseven | DAILYMEMPHIAN

In the modern NBA, bigs are asked to stretch the floor by stepping out and knocking down 3-point shots. Yurtseven only attempted 14 shots from long range last season for Georgetown, in part because of unique circumstances.

“What was needed from me was to be an inside presence because we didn’t have any other bigs,” Yurtseven said. “Once we lost four guys out of our rotation in the middle of the year it flustered us, and I had to be the anchor that had to collapse defenses and find outside shooters.”

During his sophomore season at N.C. State, however, the center shot 50% from deep on 44 attempts. “My main focus for the first month has been to get my (shooting) percentages up, especially from the NBA 3-point line,” Yurtseven said. “When I started I was shooting around 40% in April. Every month I’ve seen it slowly increase by 10%. Right now, I’m shooting around 75-to-80%.

“For a big man to do that at my size is a great tool. In today’s league everybody needs a skilled big.”

News about the NBA Draft Combine is slowly coming out, but it sounds like Omer Yurtseven may get to participate in more of the pre-Draft and combine processes.

Omer Yurtseven’s unique path may give him edge in NBA Draft | BASKETBALLNEWS

With the draft less than two months away on Nov. 18, Yurtseven truly doesn’t have an inkling on where he’ll land, despite the fact that he’s interviewed with several teams already — the Atlanta Hawks, Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, Sacramento Kings, Minnesota Timberwolves, Houston Rockets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies.

“I think my biggest expectation right now is to find the right fit,” Yurtseven said. “A lot of guys in the top five are not able to hold on after their first contract. They’re out after their second or third year. So, I think the biggest thing for me is being able to get in and stay and be your role player, be a starter. Those are the little goals that I have, and I think that I can earn that spot. I think I have the hard work and the will that it takes.”

Based on a July list, Yurtseven reportedly received an invitation to the NBA Draft Combine. With this year’s uncertainty and all-virtual workouts, it does not make sense to cut this list from 105 to 85—whether his next workouts are “combune official” or not.

Report: GMs told two-part 2020 NBA Draft Combine starts later this month | NBA.NBCSPORTS

The idea being floated is players would get medical reviews by a team doctor at a local hospital (info can be shared with other teams), there would be guided on-court work, and the interviews would be virtual. As the process moved forward there would be in-person interviews for teams in the run-up to the draft.

The 2020 NBA Draft is set for Nov. 18. The NBA Draft Lottery already took place, with the Minnesota Timberwolves landing the No. 1 pick.

The NBA Draft Combine is really about the interviews and the measurements — top prospects rarely workout at the combine. That is certainly not changing this year. No in-person workouts can be conducted at first, which tends to hurt guys trying to move into the first round, or into the daft at all. What moves guys up boards is often the interview portion, or when they post a wingspan or vertical leap that turns heads. That said, teams used the hiatus to do an incredible amount of film study on players — teams are not going to be surprised on draft night. They just want more information to help them make the right pick.

There certainly is plenty of film on Yurtseven from his college and pro highlights.

Yurtseven should impress if he gets the chance to workout and further interview with teams. As the articles above indicate, he’s been working on his three-point shot and foot-speed.

After a tough end of the year facing an ankle injury, Yurtseven is still recognized as a potential NBA Draft pick. The skilled 7-footer is as good a shooter as any big man entering the draft and should be considered a double-double threat every night, even at the highest level.

He is bound to make some pro team better this season and, if he can stay healthy, will continue to grow and develop on both ends.

It seems like longer than a few months ago that we bid our farewells to Omer, and perhaps his departure was overshadowed by other events, but Yurtseven was the best player on the floor for Georgetown during long stretches of this season.

Ewing always demanded a lot out of Yurtseven, including some defensive schemes that may have not helped show off his lateral movement, but for the most part Omer’s smooth post moves and jumpers, along with his almost-automatic 20 points and 12 rebounds a night, were a big bright spot for Hoyas fans.

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Thank you, Omer Yurtseven! #SeniorDay #hoyaszn #h4l

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Junkyard dog vs Jack #hoyasaxa #unfinishedbusiness

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Here are some highlights and scouting videos (including one that’s an hour):

UPDATE: Omer Yurtseven apparently did not make the combine cut from 105 to 85. Yurtseven is still getting interviews and workouts.