Prospect Watch: Omer Yurtseven

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The San Antonio Spurs are already sitting at the 30-win threshold for the season and are looking primed for another playoff run. For those that don’t know by now, that means the Spurs are likely getting another draft pick outside of the lottery and will need to do their fair share of scouting to find yet another diamond in the rough.

This week’s prospect is North Carolina State’s Omer Yurtseven. He’s a 7’0”, 245-pound big man who has some fluidity to his game and can step out and hit shots in addition to playing with his back to the basket. He’s projected as mostly an early second rounder, but could be worth the “reach” for the Spurs as he’s potentially a guy to shuttle back and forth to Austin.

He’s got the solid base and size to bang in the post with professional bigs — which he did in Turkey playing for two teams in the Eurloeague the past two seasons — but he is not projected to be a real rim protector as he has a short wing span for someone his size at about 7’1”. And while he doesn’t have mind-blowing speed, he does have good mobility and coordination, which is huge for someone his size.

The couple of things that Spurs fans and scouts won’t like about him is that he has problems recognizing defensive rotations and his help defense isn’t quite there. That’s one reason why he would likely be a project for the Spurs staff since that is such a key element of playing for the Spurs. You have to be able to defend and you have to do so on more than a 1-on-1 level.

Yurtseven does have a nice offensive game though as he’s improving on being able to finish with both hands and knows how to use screens to get good mid-range shots. One of the things Spurs scouts will really like about him though is his shooting ability for a big man and he plays under control and with patience.

His averages aren’t great this year because he missed the first nine games due to NCAA issues, but in his last seven games, he’s averaging (per 40 minutes): 14 points, 9.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 0.8 blocks. He’s shooting 51.1 percent from the field on 11.5 field goal attempts per game. N.C. State isn’t a very good team, but Yurtseven is one of the few bright spots on it.

Photo: NewsObserver.com

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