Heat’s Omer Yurtseven set to undergo ankle surgery

Miami Heat center Omer Yurtseven intends to undergo surgery on his injured left ankle this week unless he changes his mind, multiple league sources told the Miami Herald.

Yurtseven has already missed each of the Heat’s first 13 regular-season games, including Saturday night’s 132-115 win over the Charlotte Hornets at FTX Arena. And now he’ll miss another extended streak with the Heat (6-7) set to close out their four-game home streak on Monday against the Phoenix Suns (7:30 p.m., Bally Sports Sun), but the team’s hope is that he’ll be back to play at some point this season.

Recovery from the impending operation is expected to keep Yurtseven out for up to three months. Based on that schedule, he might be able to return by March.

The Heat made a move on Sunday to prepare for the reality of Yurtseven missing much of the season, dropping guard Dru Smith from his two-way contract to create room to sign development center Orlando Robinson to a deal. two-way to provide frontcourt reinforcement. Robinson is expected to be with the Heat for Monday’s game against the Suns.

Robinson, who was not drafted out of Fresno State this year, played for the Heat’s summer league team and attended Heat training camp before being waived just before the start of the regular season. But Robinson, 22 (6-10 and 235 pounds) has remained in the Heat’s development program, averaging 20 points on 54.1% shooting from the field, 9.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists , 1.3 steals and one block in four games with Miami’s G League Affiliate this season.

Robinson joins rookie forward Jamal Cain as two two-way contract players from the Heat. The two-way deals allow players to be on their NBA team’s active roster for up to 50 regular season games, with Robinson eligible to be on the Heat’s active roster for the prorated number of 43 regular season games since. that he was signed almost four weeks into the season.

Two-way deals can be traded at any time and don’t count toward the salary cap, allowing the Heat to add another center in Robinson to the roster without entering the luxury tax. Using the only free spot on his 15-man roster to sign a replacement for Yurtseven would make the Heat a luxury tax team, as he sits about $200,000 off the luxury tax threshold.

The injury that kept Yurtseven out was called by the Heat a left ankle impingement. A source classified it as an ankle bone spur issue.

Yurtseven, 24, considered various solutions for his ankle injury and sought several expert opinions. But in the end, it looks like surgery will be needed.

Yurtseven’s only playing action since the start of training camp came in the Heat’s preseason opener, when he recorded 11 points and nine rebounds on Oct. 4. He missed the rest of the preseason schedule and has yet to play this regular season.

Yurtseven, 24, is expected to be a restricted free agent this upcoming offseason.

With the Yurtseven 6-11 poised to miss another extended stretch, the Heat’s frontcourt depth is limited even after adding Robinson. Behind starting center Bam Adebayo, Miami used veteran center Dewayne Dedmon as a backup with Yurtseven out.

But Dedmon battled plantar fasciitis in his left foot early this season, which once again listed him as questionable for Monday’s game against the Suns. Dedmon, 33, has been available for 11 of the Heat’s first 13 games.

Behind Adebayo and Dedmon, the only other center on the 15-man roster is Yurtseven, injured and unavailable. Other Heat options to replace at center if Adebayo or Dedmon aren’t available are Robinson, 6-foot-8 veteran Udonis Haslem, 6-foot-11 rookie Nikola Jovic or even 6-foot-7 Cain.

Prior to the injury, Yurtseven was vying for a spot in the Heat’s rotation after showing his potential as a rookie. While Adebayo missed time with a thumb injury last season, Yurtseven grabbed at least 12 rebounds in 11 straight games for the longest such streak in Heat history before falling out of the rotation when Adebayo returned.

The Heat also remain without goalkeeper Victor Oladipo, who has yet to play this season due to tendinosis in his left knee. The team did not give a timetable for Oladipo’s return.

In addition to Oladipo and Yurtseven missing Monday, Tyler Herro (sprained left ankle) and Dedmon (foot) are listed as questionable for the Heat’s game against the Suns.

Phoenix ruled out Jae Crowder (not with the team), Cameron Johnson (torn right meniscus) and Landry Shamet (concussion protocol) for Monday’s game in Miami. Chris Paul is questionable because of pain in his right heel.

THE ADEBAYO EFFECT

The Heat have been a better team when Adebayo has been on the court this season. It’s no surprise since he is one of the best players on the list.

But how much better the Heat have been when Adebayo plays is telling.

The Heat are up 18 points per 100 possessions with Adebayo on the court compared to when he was on the bench in the first 13 games, according to Cleaning The Glass. Among players who have logged more than 350 minutes this season, Adebayo’s on/off differential ranks eighth in the NBA.

Driving Adebayo’s positive impact has been his defensive influence. Miami allowed 106.1 points per 100 possessions when Adebayo was on the court for a defensive rating that would rank second in the NBA for the season, but allowed 117.3 points per 100 possessions when Adebayo was on the bench for a defensive rating that would rank second in the NBA.

“He is really unique defensively. He’s special,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said of Adebayo.

The second-best on/off differential on the Heat’s list belongs to forward Caleb Martin. The Heat have been best by 13 points per 100 possessions with Martin on the court this season.

“Whatever formation he is in, he tends to defend better and he does a lot of things for us defensively, guarding the best players from other teams and he is also very good in our area,” Spoelstra told About Martin. “Then offensively, he knows how to fit into both lineups. I think he too, because of his work ethic, his age and his commitment to the whole process, he will continue to improve as the season progresses.

This story was originally published November 13, 2022 10:29 a.m.

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Anthony Chiang covers the Miami Heat for the Miami Herald. He attended the University of Florida and was born and raised in Miami.

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