The Miami Heat facilitated an incredibly exciting roster restructure during free agency, landing Kyle Lowry from the Toronto Raptors, stealing P.J. Tucker from the Milwaukee Bucks, and making Duncan Robinson the highest-paid undrafted player in the NBA.
In addition to signing Jimmy Butler a max contract extension, and nabbing Markieff Morris from the Lakers, the Heat locked in Omer Yurtseven, who’s absolutely crushing it during summer league play, averaging 22.4 points on 50.6% shooting from the field, 8-of-22 (36.4 %) shooting on threes, 11.2 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks over the past five games.
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During the Heat’s 94-90 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on August 15, the 7-foot center scored 21 points, shooting 8-of-17 from the field, 1-of-3 from beyond the arc, seven rebounds, four assists, and one block.
After the game, Yurtseven spoke to the media about how he’s been working on improving his game during summer league, and how a certain “OG” has taken him under his wing.
“It has been a lot of learning, like watching film and taking it all in,” Yurtseven said, per Miami Herald‘s Anthony Chiang. “I’m still making those adjustments inside the game. All the coaches have been in my ear and also, OG, Udonis Haslem has been with us like for the last two, three games just giving advice, letting me know I have to make the guards make a play, jab at them and like make them either pass or shoot or hesitate so that our guards can get out front.”
Yurtseven Looking to Improve His Defensive Game During Summer League Play
Yurtseven is getting acclimated to containing the ball during pick-and-rolls, and overall, looking to up his defensive game.
“Those little adjustments and being able to stay in front of the guards and also not let my man get behind me,” the Georgetown alum continued. “But, yeah, it’s been like a learning experience and also being able to do that consistently paid off last game. More reps and more reps, it’s just going to translate into the regular season.”
Miami Heat Initially Bypassed Yurtseven’s Non-Guaranteed Contract
The Heat initially added Yurtseven to the roster at the end of last season, and their subsequent decision to bypass his $1.5 million non-guaranteed contract offer didn’t make sense.
Keith Glass, Yutseven’s agent, cleared up the confusion while speaking the Miami Herald‘s Barry Jackson. Glass confirmed that Yurtseven was not going to blindside the Heat by suddenly signing with another team during summer league play, nor did Miami blindside his client by not signing his option on August 1.
“It’s clear the Heat are interested in Omer and as importantly, Omer is interested in them,” Glass said, noting that there’s no contract from Miami in place for the unrestricted free agent. However, Glass requested one not to be presented when Yurtseven first signed with the team on May 14.
Glass didn’t want to exercise the August 1 option “so that when they gave me the option, they could go back to me and do a new deal. They kept their word. The only thing they didn’t do at that time [last Sunday] was make a deal. Now it’s a different time.”
Yursteven ultimately signed a two-year $3.5 million contract with the Heat.