Miami Heat center Omer Yurtseven is expected be out an “extended period of time” with the possibility of missing the entire 2022-23 season, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Thursday.
Yurtseven has yet to play this season after appearing in 56 games last season. The reason was an ankle injury suffered in the preseason. Winderman reported that ankle surgery could be on the table for Yurtseven, which would push back the timetable for return. Though even without surgery, he is expected to be out indefinitely:
“Out since the first exhibition with what the Heat have been listing as an ankle impingement, Yurtseven is facing the possibility of surgery that would not have him back until well after the turn of the calendar,” Winderman wrote. “Even without surgery, the absence would be extensive.”
He also cited that the issue is related to a loose bone spur in Yurtseven’s ankle, which the 7-footer has continued to seek additional medical attention for.
Yurtseven, a free agent after this season after averaging 5.3 points and 5.3 rebounds with the Heat as a rookie, missing most— if not the entire — season is the worst-case scenario for not only himself (obviously), but for Miami, too.
The Heat’s big rotation after Bam Adebayo has been...rugged, to put it lightly. Adebayo has logged a plus-16.7 (89th percentile) on-off differential per Cleaning the Glass, the fourth-biggest difference among bigs (min. 300 minutes) in the NBA. Dewayne Dedmon has been good lately — posting 8.3 points and 5.8 rebounds on 52.9 percent shooting over his last four games, including a pair of 10-point games against the Sacramento Kings and Portland Trail Blazers — as its only true backup big.
Yurtseven and Victor Oladipo — who is also injured without a timetable — have both not played for the season, which is obviously not ideal. This could lead to Miami making a trade sooner rather than later.
The biggest two non-Jimmy Butler/Adebayo contracts they could move right now, hypothetically, are Kyle Lowry ($28.3M; $29.7M in ‘23-24) and Duncan Robinson ($16.9M; $57.5M over next three seasons), with Caleb Martin, Victor Oladipo and Dewayne Dedmon not eligible to be traded ahead of Jan. 15, 2023, per Spotrac.
That doesn’t mean Miami will trade either of those two players within that timespan, nor does it mean it will make a trade at all.
If nothing else, this should mean more playing time for rookie Nikola Jovic and Jamal Cain, who emerged in the preseason, earned a two-way contract and currently assigned with Sioux Falls Skyforce. Why not? See what you have in them — or at least Jovic, who’s played in 22 minutes across three games, at the bare minimum.