Published on: November 14, 2022, 11:21 am.
Last update: November 14, 2022, 11:21 am.
Miami Heat backup center Omer Yurtseven underwent surgery to repair a lingering left ankle injury. He is expected to miss at least three months of action, and the Heat are now looking to add a big man in a trade.
Yurtseven suffered an ankle injury in the preseason and missed the first 13 games of the regular season. The Heat listed Yurtseven with a left ankle sprain on the injury report.
The The Miami Herald reported that an anonymous source classified Yurtseven’s injury as a “bone spur problem in the ankle.”
After over a month of rest, the ankle injury did not improve. Yurtseven and the Heat decided surgery would be the best option going forward.
The Heat have indicated they expect Yurtseven to return sometime in March after recovering from surgery.
After a slow 2-5 start this season, the Heat recently improved to 6-7 with a 4-2 record since early November. The Heat are in 10th place in the Eastern Conference and in third place in the Southeast Division.
During the preseason, the Heat were +2000 odds to win the 2023 NBA Championship and were the betting favorites to win the Southeast Division at -165 odds. DraftKings has updated its NBA futures board and the Heat have dropped to +3000 odds to win the championship. The first-place Atlanta Hawks are the new betting favorites to win the Southeast at -150 odds, while the Heat are second on the board at +170 odds.
Yurtseven: Travel from Turkey to South Beach
Yurtseven was born in Uzbekistan, but both parents were from Turkey. He was a standout player for Turkey’s under-18 national team and led Turkey to a silver medal at the FIBA Under-18 European Championship in 2015. He was just 16 when he made his Euroleague debut for Fenerbahce from a Turkish professional. league based in Istanbul.
Yurtseven played college basketball for two different teams. He spent two seasons with North Carolina State before transferring to Georgetown. He started 25 games at center with Georgetown in the 2019-20 season and averaged 15.5 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.
Yurtseven was not represented in the 2020 NBA Draft. He spent time in the NBA G League with the Oklahoma Blue before linking up with the Miami Heat.
During his rookie season with the Heat in 2021-22, Yurtseven averaged 5.5 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. Head coach Erik Spoelstra also started Yurtseven in 12 games last season.
The Heat had high expectations for Yurtseven heading into his second season as the backup center behind Bam Adebayo.
Heat Explore trade options
Dewayne Dedmon moved up the Heat’s depth chart as the backup center when Yurtseven missed the start of the season. In 11 games this season, Dedmon has averaged 5.8 points and 3.4 rebounds off the bench.
The Heat signed undrafted rookie center Orlando Robinson from Fresno State to fill the roster spot. Robinson played for the Miami Heat’s summer league team, but started this season with their G League affiliate. In four games with the Sioux Falls Skyforce, Robinson averaged 20 points and 9.3 rebounds per game before earning a promotion to the Heat.
With Yurtseven out for several months, the Heat are shopping for a veteran big man. The undersized Heat are looking to add depth to their front line.
Jae Crowder has been out this season with the Phoenix Suns. The forward requested a trade in the preseason after the Suns cut him during contract extension negotiations. Crowder has been linked in trade rumors to the Heat as they need a 3-D player to bolster their roster. The Suns like guard Max Strus and would like to include him in any deal for Crowder.
Crowder spent one season with the Miami Heat in 2019-20 and was part of their team that won the Eastern Conference and made a trip to the 2020 NBA Finals. During his short stint with the Heat, Crowder averaged 11 .9 points and 5.4 rebounds per game while shooting 44.5 percent from 3-point range.