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Are Omer Yurtseven and Marcus Garrett keepers for Miami Heat?

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Heat’s knack for finding overlooked prospects could have struck gold again.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Southern California at Kansas IndyStar-USA TODAY Sports

Omer Yurtseven and Marcus Garrett got great reviews in their first game as professionals for the Miami Heat. But do their one-game performances deserve a long-term commitment? In all fairness to the other nine undrafted players who may have had off-nights, let’s look at a couple of their college senior stats. Especially one developed by John Hollinger labeled PPR (Pure Point Rating) which is designed to measure ballhandling and passing.

“What it[A/T] really means is almost nothing, because assist/turnover ratio is a flawed stat. The problem isn’t with “assist” or “turnover,” it’s with the “ratio.” Using a ratio is faulty for two reasons. First, it assumes assists and turnovers are equal, when in fact a turnover is more costly than an assist is helpful.”

“Second, it equates very different amounts of productivity. If Player A just sits in the corner all season and finishes with three assists and one turnover, while Player B directs the offense all year and has 300 assists and 101 turnovers, then according to assist/turnover ratio, we should assume that Player A is “better” at running the offense.”

Looking at selected college stats of the eleven undrafted rookies from Miami’s Summer League roster, the seldom used PPR numbers are instructive.

Selected college stats for undrafted players

PLAYER PPR PPS ORTG DRTG NRTG
PLAYER PPR PPS ORTG DRTG NRTG
Potter, M. -2.16 1.39 118.9 95.2 23.7
Jarreau, D. 1.78 1.21 110.7 88.3 22.4
Smith, Justin -1.92 1.31 115.9 94.9 21.1
Garrett, M. 1.54 1.25 110.2 95.4 14.8
Yurtseven, O. -5.21 1.31 112.3 97.5 14.8
Smith, Dru 0.45 1.31 110.9 100.2 10.7
Carter, T. -0.31 1.26 112.1 103.5 8.6
Smart, J. 0.11 1.27 114.2 106.3 7.9
Stewart Jr, DJ -2.99 1.16 101.7 101.1 0.6
Lawson, AJ -2.06 1.23 102.5 103.7 -1.2
Nembhard, RJ -2.71 1.18 97.1 108.3 -11.2

At -5.21 Yurtseven has the worst PPR stat by far. Meanwhile DeJon Jarreau and Marcus Garrett are two of the more promising ballhandlers. PPR is only one number. PPS[Points Per Shot], ORtg, DRtg give other angles for a more rounded picture. And of course the old-fashioned eyeball test may count more than anything else.

In all fairness to Yurtseven, by having a skilled ballhandler in Bam Adebayo as a running mate he doesn’t have to be a Nikola Jokic. Grabbing rebounds, spacing the floor, and working off the ball would be right in his wheelhouse. A combo of 7-footers in Yurtseven and Dewayne Dedmon coming off the bench might fit in wonderfully when the Heat need size.

Meanwhile Garrett made an impact in the Heat’s 90-88 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. Matt Hanifan of HHH had an insightful summary of his potential, which turned out to be spot on.

“He’s a perfect fit in Miami’s system. Garrett’s a pass-first guard with outstanding defensive ability. He joins Jarreau as the second really special point-of-attack defender on Miami’s summer league roster.”

“The Naismith Defensive Player of the Year in 2019-20 averaged 1.6 steals per game over the last three seasons. He considerably improved his shooting since he stepped foot on Kansas, knocking 34.8 percent of his 2.3 3-point attempts per game as a senior. He also saw massive improvement in his free-throw shooting — netting 80.8 percent of his attempts after hitting them at a disappointing 57.3 percent clip over his first three seasons. His shooting is going to determine his NBA ceiling, but he can definitely carve out a role on the opposite end.”

The thrilling win over the Lakers whet the appetite about adding youthful ballast to the tough championship veterans the Heat recently added. At $925K minimum for rookies, plus two-way contracts, filling out a balanced roster of young and old seems possible. The remainder of Summer League play could yield more talented additions to make the Heat true contenders this season.

Stats courtesy of RealGM.