The Miami Heat haven’t gone through a lot of changes so far this season, but they have lost a few contributors to the squad that made 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.
A native of Turkey, Yurtseven 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 on the Heat’s roster this season.
Although he didn’t play much, especially in the playoffs, he provided depth to a Heat team that lacked viable players taller than 6 feet.
The 6-foot-11, 275-pound Yurtseven averaged 4.4 points and 2.6 rebounds in 9.2 minutes per game last season.
With him headed west, Miami is hoping that Nikola Jovic, a 6-foot-1 freshman last season, will be ready to play some meaningful minutes.
Overall, they still don’t have a rotation center with legitimate center height and size. Bam Adebayo, their No. 5 starter, is considered a great defender and has intriguing all-around skills, but at 6-foot-9, he’s not strong enough to contend with the likes of Nikola Jokic, the Denver Nuggets’ superstar center.
As a result, Jokic posted 30.2 points, 14.0 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game in the Nuggets’ five-game sweep of Miami in the NBA Finals.
Perhaps countryman Damian Lillard would make up for some of what Miami lacks in frontcourt size and defensive strength. Lillard would solve a lot of the offensive problems faced by Miami, the lowest scoring team in the NBA during the regular season, which would weigh down the defense.
The Portland Trail Blazers, Lillard’s current team, will reportedly draw out the trade process to get the best return. However, the Heat are said to have no interest in making a big deal with Portland.