Report: Omer Yurtseven cleared for ‘high impact work’

Jan 30, 2023 - 6:52 PM
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Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

It’s not trade news, but the Miami Heat received promising feedback Monday morning in regards to one of their big men.

According to sources from Heat insider and reporter Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Heat center Omer Yurtseven’s ankle is officially healthy and has been cleared for “high impact work.” Yurtseven, who played just one preseason game after suffering the ankle injury, underwent surgery and has missed the entire season up to this point.

Per Jackson, the Heat’s hope is that he will “play in games after All-Star break,” which will be from Feb. 17-19. He also notes that Yurtseven is still in Miami and not currently with the team during its four-game road trip.

The report was confirmed by Yurtseven’s agent, Nick Glass, according to Jackson.

With just under two weeks until the Feb. 9 trade deadline, it’s unclear whether or not Yurtseven will have a role in the rotation once he returns. But as the roster is currently constructed, the Heat could use all the frontcourt help they could get behind star big Bam Adebayo.

Rookie two-way center Orlando Robinson has been a saving grace after Dewayne Dedmon’s cataclysmic start. Though as I’ve previously written, the Heat are still need a reliable rotation big behind Adebayo. And Robinson is eligible for 26 of the Heat’s final 31 games and isn’t playoff eligible because he’s still on a two-way contract — leaving Yurtseven and Dedmon as its only two playoff-eligible big men.

Even after coming off an ankle injury, maybe Yurtseven is the missing piece that can give 10-15 decent minutes per night. Maybe he’s not. The Heat, at 28-23, don’t have much time to wait-and-see. In fact, it’s all the more likely to assume they make a move for a backup big anyway because of the thrill of the unknown.

Yurtseven showed flashes as a mid- to low-post hub, rebounder and (drop) defender last year, but most of his playing time stemmed from injuries to both Adebayo and Dedmon. He averaged 5.3 points and 5.3 rebounds in 56 games — 12 starts — on 52.6 percent shooting.

Nevertheless, this is good news for the Heat to see their 24-year-old 7-footer nearing a return after there was speculation (from myself and others) that he could miss the entire season.

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