Report: Utah Jazz to sign former Miami Heat center Omer Yurtseven

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The Miami Heat haven’t undergone major changes so far this offseason, but they have lost a couple of contributors to the squad that just reached the NBA Finals.

On Monday, the Utah Jazz signed big man Omer Yurtseven, who had spent two seasons with Miami, to a two-year contract.

Yurtseven, a native of Turkey, played two seasons of college basketball for North Carolina State University before transferring to Georgetown University for his junior year. He went undrafted in 2020 and is one of several undrafted players who were on the Heat’s roster this season.

Although he didn’t play much, especially during the playoffs, he did provide some depth for a Heat team that lacked viable players that were taller than 6-foot-9.

Yurtseven, who is 6-foot-11 and 275 pounds, averaged 4.4 points and 2.6 rebounds in 9.2 minutes per game this past regular season.

With him heading out west, Miami is hoping that Nikola Jovic, a 6-foot-10 man who was a rookie this past season, will be ready to play some meaningful minutes.

Overall, they still do not have rotational centers with legitimate center height and size. Bam Adebayo, their starter at the 5, is considered an excellent defender and has an intriguing set of all-around skills, but at 6-foot-9, he isn’t beefy enough to contend with the likes of Nikola Jokic, the Denver Nuggets’ superstar center.

As a result, Jokic put up 30.2 points, 14.0 rebounds and 7.2 assists a game during the Nuggets’ five-game triumph over Miami in the NBA Finals.

Perhaps landing Damian Lillard would offset some of what Miami lacks in terms of frontcourt size and defensive might. Lillard would solve lots of the offensive woes that Miami, the lowest-scoring team in the NBA during the regular season, has had to deal with, which would take pressure off its defense.

The Portland Trail Blazers, Lillard’s current team, will reportedly drag out the trade process to get the best return possible. However, the Heat reportedly have no interest in heavily negotiating with Portland.

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Robert is a native of Santa Monica, Calif. and a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has been an avid NBA fan since he was a little kid in the mid '90s, and during that time he has lived through the Alonzo Mourning, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James era of Heat basketball. He feels strongly that the NBA and sports aren't just entertainment, but also a means for learning life lessons.