The Miami Heat have an interesting past of finding diamonds in the rough. When all eyes were on the 13th pick in the NBA draft on Miami’s Summer League team in 2019, other guys emerged into the team’s focus. Duncan Robinson and Kendrick Nunn went from undrafted guys fighting to make a roster, to immediate starters on a team that eventually made the NBA Finals.
It’s safe to say Miami has a pretty good eye in that department specifically.
Toward the end of last season, some young 7 footer was added to the roster in hopes of potential off-season developing. While there may not have been many expectations on this young kid, it kind of felt like deja vu was striking Heat observers.
Omer Yurtseven had a monster Summer League a few weeks ago, leading to him earning a regular deal and roster spot for next season. And although it’s a contending team with a crowded front-court, the Heat always find ways to work in these young, hungry, and supreme talents.
So, let’s continue my Heat preview series, answering some questions from you guys about individual players on the roster. Why is the future so bright for Yurtseven?
What area of his game will be most utilized this season? I think he has a chance to catch people off guard with his shooting. There’s relatively no scouting report so I think he could torch teams early.
— Jon The Profit (@jon_profit) September 10, 2021
After watching him in action through different environments, including playing with Turkey and Heat’s Summer League team in Vegas, it’s clear that his offensive bag is pretty broad. When watching this 7 footer on the offensive end, the first word that comes to mind is versatility.
In this instance, a lot of stuff is going to tie back to Miami’s young centerpiece Bam Adebayo. The reason for that is the overarching point to these discussions is asking how they would potentially mesh in the future. And well, that transitions us right into how he will be used most on the offensive end.
For starters, I’ve said this frequently, but I believe many of Yurtseven’s spot minutes will come next to Adebayo this season. He’s going to be the sub-in starter if injuries were to occur, and the Dewayne Dedmon back-up plan since he won’t be playing close to 82. It’s the Gabe Vincent/Max Strus role of last year.
To that point, Yurtseven’s two best offensive skills are probably Adebayo’s two weakest skills at this stage. The first one is the outside shot since his high release point means it’s close to impossible to alter. With Adebayo occupying space on the roll or mid-range off the catch, he needs a floor spacer next to him at all times.
The second offensive wrinkle is post-play. As the league continues to evolve, you see more and more bigs picking up Yurtseven’s shooting trait, instead of his back to the basket trait. And when the footwork continues to improve against bigger defenders on the block, it’ll only make that soft touch down low even deadlier.
Ultimately, his role will be very watered down and simplified. They will most likely run some double screening/horn sets for Adebayo to roll and Yurtseven to pop, just due to the fact it maximizes spacing and places Yurtseven at a favorable spot at the top of the key. He may be able to knock down the corner three consistently, but above the break popping will be his home-base.
Once that offense is perfected, the all-around expansion and added layers can begin to be flooded in.
Defense is measured so differently than is used to be (block shots/steals) with the increased 3-point shooting, does he have enough quick twitch, feet, reaction time to be an above average NBA defender?
— Ian Miranda (@EasyEN) September 10, 2021
This is a very good question, and I think it should be evaluated from a few different angles.
Once again, we have to start by relating this to him playing next to Adebayo. In those minutes specifically, he just has to do what he’s done at a high level for some time now: protect the rim, deter drivers, block some shots, and grow in that drop coverage.
That would be Adebayo’s safety blanket in a lot of ways. It would allow each of them to play to their strengths in terms of defensive capabilities, which is what I see them using at different points in the regular season to switch it up.
Now, back to the question, I’m not sure the “quick twitch” or “quick feet” is something I would really bet on in his immediate future. He has very good defensive instincts from what I’ve seen, but the other original attributes don’t really jump off the screen to me at this time.
Due to that, I don’t think I see him being an “above average defender,” but I can see him being an average one who can make plays. If he gets some extra reps by the basket, improving his all-around pick and roll defense, then I can see him being an above average rim protector.
But addressing “NBA defender” as a whole, I don’t think I’d put that expectation on him. His true skill is on the offensive end of the floor, since there aren’t many players with that size who can utilize the level of touch on the ball that he possesses.
This isn’t a question but I don’t think it’s unfathomable that Omer has a breakout season similar to what Hassan did when he started out with the Heat. It’s just opportunity dependent
— mikey (@_kymei) September 10, 2021
I spoke briefly before about the opportunities that he will be given, but I just don’t see this being his breakout season with the role he will be given.
As much as I’ve said he will get plenty of spot minutes, sprinkled in starts, and chances to prove his game, the roster construction just doesn’t mirror this being his big year. Once again, this team did a total 360 from a crowded back-court to a crowded front-court.
Obviously other than Dedmon off the bench, nobody has the undeniable size and skill that Yurtseven has, which is why he will get his chance. If he came out and dominates whenever given that opportunity, then that’s a different story. That would lead to a bench front-court punch of Yurtseven-Dedmon minutes, which would be quite a handful.
But realistically, that doesn’t feel to be the case. He will progress behind the scenes, receive playing time to get a taste of what he needs to continue to develop, and make the eventual leap that so many undrafted Heat players have in the past.
There feels to be an in-house formula on how it’s done, and I believe Yurtseven’s formula is the easiest to predict this upcoming season. They now have another young wild card that they can utilize if things were to go downhill, which is something Coach Erik Spoelstra won’t be afraid to use.
The final takeaway: his future is bright. From what I’ve seen up to this point, there’s so much potential within his current game, and he just turned 23 years old. The Heat may have dug up a hidden gem once again, and this time, there isn’t an unorthodox fit with other skill-sets. Instead, it blends in quite perfectly.
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