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.
Omer Yurtseven got good news in doctor visit today, per source; his ankle has fully healed. He's cleared for high impact work. Hope is he will play in games after All Star break. Not with team this week on road. Working way back at Miami Dade Arena.— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) January 30, 2023
The report was confirmed by Yurtseven’s agent, Nick Glass, according to Jackson.
This is confirmed by Omer's agent, Keith Glass. Omer should provide nice lift in second half. ... Orlando Robinson runs out of NBA eligible two way days Feb 25 if plays every game up to that point. Robinson can be converted to standard deal if Heat wishes https://t.co/6Gc0PUtjkq— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) January 30, 2023
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.