UPDATE: It is reported that Ömer Yurtseven and the Miami Heat have come to an agreement on a two-year NBA contract, reportedly worth $3.5MM. Congrats, Ömer! HOYA SAXA!
Per source, Heat's deal with Omer Yurtseven is 2 years, $3.5 M. Standard contract, not a 2-way deal. Heat with 13 under contract. Haslem would be 14.— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) August 6, 2021
Fans of the Georgetown Hoyas knew full well what Ömer Yurtseven was capable of from when he under Patrick Ewing, but the rest of the world is seeing it right now as number 77 on the Miami Heat’s NBA Summer League team has quickly become a force to be reckoned with. In two games of the California Classic, Yurtseven has scored 52 points, grabbed 25 rebounds, and shot 5-11 from three (45.5%)!
Yurtseven appears to have made the most of the quarantine year by working out in Miami, signing a contract, and then making the Heat second guess their waiving of his contract. The Turkish 7-footer has taken advantage of the early summer hoops spotlight and jump started his campaign for an NBA contract.
As a quick reminder, Ömer Yurtseven came to Georgetown by way of two years at NC State and some legendary performances in Turkeys—he once scored 91 points in a Turkish under-18 league game. Yurtseven explained how he came to the Hilltop for Patrick Ewing, found a fit with more than just hoops, and still had to sit out a year per the old fashioned transfer requirement.
Yurtseven told Basketball Insiders:
That’s what I was looking for coming in [working with Ewing]. I needed someone to see the game from my perspective … I was looking for that feedback and I demanded to be coached. I wanted to learn from him. The thing he stayed on me the most about was the pace of the game and how quick my moves would have to be at the next level … The turnaround jumper was one of [Ewing’s] major weapons. He was ahead of his time, but he wanted to see me do the same thing and give 100 percent effort every time.
In two short summer league games (10 minute quarters), fans have seen Yurtseven break out several aspects of his game reminiscent of Big Pat, including the jumper. One thing that’s clearly different in today’s game is Yurtseven attempting 11 three-pointers in two games—and hitting five. Ömer’s footspeed looks improved a bit as he switches on picks a bit better and finds low post position quickly. His shot appears as good as ever, and he isn’t fading away nearly as much as many Hoyas fans may remember. The only early knock has been high fouls and turnovers, which will happen with early-season high-usage and will hopefully settle down.
Yurtseven has at least 4 more games to continue to show he has what it takes to compete at the highest level, but the groundwork has been laid. When Yurtseven signed with the Heat months ago, naysayers characterized it as a favor by Pat Riley and Alonzo Mourning (not a bad thing, in my mind). But Yurtseven has been making the most of this opportunity and showing he can take care of business on both ends, inside and out.
Here are the links:
“Amazing, amazing,” Yurtseven said to reporters during a post-game Zoom session. “All the hard work that I’ve been putting in, being inserted out there and playing in that system, it’s my first five-on-five in about a month. So it felt really good. And first time in a Heat jersey, it was a proud moment for me.”
Yurtseven, 23, shot 11 of 20 from the field, 3 of 7 on threes and made two timely free throws with 6.8 seconds to play and the score tied to lift the Heat to the narrow win. He also grabbed a game-high five offensive rebounds. The only real blemish on Yurtseven’s performance were his seven turnovers and six fouls. It takes 10 fouls for a player to foul out of a summer league game.
“He was huge,” said Heat assistant coach Malik Allen, who is serving as the team’s summer league head coach. “He was inside, he was outside. Obviously, he’s got a ways to go. But he really was hugely impactful and really, really big in the game obviously with his scoring and his rebounding. He’s always been a very good rebounder. But he went and get some tough rebounds in traffic tonight, which was good to see.”
Amazing it was, indeed. Not only was he the best player on the court, but it was by far as he dominated the competition. He looked like a true man amongst boys on the floor. While this was against other young guys, it really could make some start to think.
Though it wouldn’t be to this same magnitude (or would it?), could he make a contribution during the regular year? With his size, skill set, ability, and the confidence he’s showing so far in Summer League play, could Yurtseven be a contributor on the big club? Is it time to stop thinking two-way player with Turk Nowitzki, The Big Yurt, or the guy starting that’s responsible for YurtSZN… and start thinking standard contract?
Omer Yurtseven was under the spotlight after he won the Lakers game with two clutch free throws in the final moments on his way to 27 points and 19 rebounds, and the Georgetown product did not disappoint. He poured in 15 points in the first quarter alone and finished with 25 points, eight boards and three blocks to help spearhead the winning effort.
Ӧmer Yurtseven is already tearing up summer league— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) August 4, 2021
. . . he has 12 points through the 1st Q pic.twitter.com/DGO5wydQYw
The Heat’s game plan was obvious from the start — work the ball through the 7-foot Turkish Omer Yurtseven. The Warriors didn’t have very much size to bother Yurtsven and he had his way and began causing double teams.
Omer is clearly making a strong case for the Heat to add him on some type of contract. The problem is that he isn’t under any contract with the Heat, able to sign with anyone at any time. Back in 2015, the Brooklyn Nets signed Willie Reed right off the Heat’s summer league team in the middle of it. So that’s not ideal. Yurtseven only hit two threes, but he dominated the first quarter and finished the game with 25 points and 8 rebounds and this time only had 3 turnovers. There’s a lot to say about Omer.
At -5.21 Yurtseven has the worst PPR stat by far. Meanwhile DeJon Jarreau and Marcus Garrett are two of the more promising ballhandlers. PPR is only one number. PPS[Points Per Shot], ORtg, DRtg give other angles for a more rounded picture. And of course the old-fashioned eyeball test may count more than anything else.
In all fairness to Yurtseven, by having a skilled ballhandler in Bam Adebayo as a running mate he doesn’t have to be a Nikola Jokic. Grabbing rebounds, spacing the floor, and working off the ball would be right in his wheelhouse. A combo of 7-footers in Yurtseven and Dewayne Dedmon coming off the bench might fit in wonderfully when the Heat need size.
You may recall, the Heat signed Yurtseven at the end of the year last year to finish the season as they wanted a chance to evaluate him. But the Heat declined their option on him making him a free agent just days ago. He remained with the Miami Heat summer league roster. And he didn’t disappoint.
Yurtseven showed that he can score from all three levels. He can score inside and finish at the rim, he can hit the mid-range pick and pop jumper, and he can score from deep (3-6 from three). It’s almost as though you can see the vision the Heat have with the 23-year-old Turkish center. He is a project...no doubt. He turned the ball over and got cooked on defense by guards several times. But he has the tools that in a limited role could be beneficial. The Heat would be wise to revisit Yurtseven to a more secure deal moving forward. Yurtseven had 27 points and 19 rebounds (and 7 turnovers) in the game.
Omer Yurtseven blocking Mac McClung’s three point attempt after the screen switch. pic.twitter.com/cFWadNl8MU— Philadelphia Hoyas (@PhillyHoyas) August 4, 2021
Through two summer league games, Omer Yurtseven has been unstoppable for the Miami Heat. Why haven't they signed him to a contract yet? @JMcRae23 breaks down why and explains why the Heat should offer him a deal. #NBA #NBATwitter #HEATtwitter https://t.co/Hx2uHnTwT1— Prime Time Sports Talk (@PTSTNews) August 6, 2021