Omer Yurtseven

Thunder Sign, Waive Omer Yurtseven

DECEMBER 9: After signing him on Monday, the Thunder waived Yurtseven on Tuesday, according to the NBA’s official transactions log.

Oklahoma City now has 18 players on its roster, with deals for Chasson Randle (training camp contract), Moses Brown (two-way contract), and Theo Maledon (standard contract) expected to be completed soon.


DECEMBER 8: The Thunder have filled the open spot on their 20-man training camp roster by officially signing undrafted rookie Omer Yurtseven to a one-year contract, per RealGM’s transactions log.

Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported shortly after last month’s draft that the Thunder and Yurtseven had reached an agreement on an Exhibit 10 deal. The former Georgetown big man looks like a good bet to join the Thunder’s G League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue.

Yurtseven, 22, began his college career at North Carolina State before transferring to Georgetown. He was the Hoyas’ starting center in 2019/20, averaging 15.5 PPG, 9.8 RPG, and 1.5 BPG in 26 games (27.3 MPG). He decided to go pro this spring following his junior season.

Thunder Expected To Sign Omer Yurtseven, Josh Hall

The Thunder have reached an agreement on an Exhibit 10 contract for undrafted Georgtown big man Omer Yurtseven, sources tell Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link).

Yurtseven, 22, began his college career at North Carolina State before transferring to Georgetown. He was the Hoyas’ starting center in 2019/20, averaging 15.5 PPG, 9.8 RPG, and 1.5 BPG in 26 games (27.3 MPG).

Having declared for the draft following his junior season, Yurtseven wasn’t one of the 60 players selected on Wednesday night, but ranked as ESPN’s 31st-best undrafted prospect and didn’t take long to find a home for training camp.

Meanwhile, the Thunder have also reached a deal to sign free agent forward Josh Hall, an undrafted prospect out of Moravian Prep, a source tells Jake Weingarten of StockRisers.com (Twitter link). It’ll be a two-way contract, according to Weingarten (Twitter link).

The No. 5 undrafted prospect on ESPN’s list, Hall has “considerable potential” as both a shooter and ball-handler, according to Mike Schmitz’s scouting report. Schmitz adds that Hall isn’t NBA-ready, but could develop into a rotation wing with some G League seasoning.

Draft Notes: Ball, Edwards, Maxey, Yurtseven, More

LaMelo Ball, a candidate to be the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft, reportedly met virtually with New York and Golden State earlier in the year and had an in-person visit with the Timberwolves this week. He’s also expected to meet with the Hornets, Bulls, and Warriors (again) next week.

While Ball has been getting familiar with the teams at the very top of the draft, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer said during an appearance on Sports Radio WFNZ this week that he has heard from multiple sources that Ball “is not performing very well at job interviews.”

“He is not improving his perception via job interview,” Bonnell said, per Dan Feldman of NBC Sports. “There are people drafting later in the top ten who were not preparing for the possibility of Ball still being around. And I’m not saying that he will not be a top-three pick. I am saying that I know for a fact that there are teams later in the top ten who are doing more research on him, because they no longer think it’s a given he will.”

With the 2020 NBA draft less than three weeks away, we’re knee-deep in smokescreen season, so it’s difficult to know how seriously to take reports like these. Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic dug into the “art of subterfuge” in a new article, noting that the Timberwolves and Warriors – both of whom are said to be interested in trading down – are taking different approaches during the pre-draft process.

While Golden State has been rumored to have real interest in over a half-dozen prospects, Minnesota has been very tight-lipped about the No. 1 pick. In each case, teams that might be interested in trading up haven’t been able to get a clear sense of whether or not the Wolves or Warriors will take the player they want.

Here’s more on the draft:

  • NBA scouts and executives weren’t allowed to be in the gym for the televised Pro Day for Anthony Edwards and Tyrese Maxey on Thursday, as Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. A source tells Berman that some agents were unhappy with the setup, feeling as if it was “unwarranted exposure” for Rich Paul‘s clients. The Knicks were among the teams watching the event on TV, Berman adds.
  • Former Georgetown big man Omer Yurtseven has had virtual meetings with 19 teams, he told Keith Smith of RealGM. However, he’s disappointed he hasn’t got a chance to conduct in-person workouts for all those clubs. “It’s been tough to not be able to work out directly for teams,” Yurtseven said. “I’ve spent a lot of time working on my lateral quickness. I know I needed to be quicker to play in the NBA. I worked on that a lot and can’t wait to show teams.”
  • Eamonn Brennan of The Athletic identifies five prospects he thinks are sleepers in the 2020 draft, including Kansas center Udoka Azubuike, Michigan State guard Cassius Winston, and Charleston guard Grant Riller.

Draft Notes: Yurtseven, Combine, Toolson, Jessup

Former Georgetown big man Omer Yurtseven has met virtually with about a third of the teams in the NBA, including the Hawks, Wizards, Spurs, Hornets, Kings, Sixers, and Rockets, per Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. As Yurtseven explained in a conversation with Hughes, he has made an effort to do his homework on each team interviewing him in order to make a good impression during those meetings.

“You have to know their rosters in order to see how they would fit in; what shooters are you going to be able to kick out to, or what bigs would you be playing with, what picks do they have,” Yurtseven said. “In all the interviews, I try to incorporate all the things I know about them in order to show them that I care, that I want to be on their team.”

Here’s more on the 2020 NBA draft:

  • The revamped “combine” won’t allow teams to get as much first-hand information as in a typical draft combine, but after six months of doing little but rewatching tape and making phone calls, scouts and teams are pretty interested in the process and anxious for new information, tweets Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report.
  • In a story for Bleacher Report, Wasserman looks at some of the latest draft rumors, attempting to weigh their legitimacy. Wasserman is buying talk of RJ Hampton‘s improved jumper, but doesn’t expect the Timberwolves to trade the No. 1 pick and is skeptical about some of the chatter coming out of Golden State.
  • Despite the fact that just about every NBA team would love to add a sharpshooter such as Duncan Robinson, the Michigan forward went undrafted in 2018. With that in mind, CJ Moore of The Athletic identifies four prospects who could be this year’s under-the-radar marksman like Robinson, including BYU’s Jake Toolson and Boise State’s Justinian Jessup.
  • The latest mock draft conducted by team beat writers at The Athletic featured LaMelo Ball going No. 1 to the Timberwolves, the Warriors trading the No. 2 pick to the Suns, and Anthony Edwards slipping to the Hornets at No. 3.

Draft Notes: Smart, Mack, Yurtseven, 2021 Draft

As we outlined on Monday morning, this year’s deadline for early entrants to declare for the 2020 NBA draft fell on Sunday night, meaning the league will soon be officially releasing its initial list of early entrants.

As we await that list, we’re still seeing a few more updates trickling in, so we’ll pass along a couple of those in the space below — and take an early look at how this year’s early entry list will impact the 2021 draft class…

  • LSU sophomore guard Javonte Smart has declared for the draft while maintaining his college eligibility, he announced on Instagram. Smart, who presumably submitted his paperwork by Sunday night, averaged 12.5 PPG, 4.2 APG, and 3.5 RPG on .415/.326/.814 shooting in 31 games (34.2 MPG) for the Tigers.
  • Sophomore guard Cam Mack, who previously said he was entering the draft, announced on Twitter that he has changed course and has instead decided to transfer. Mack averaged 12.0 PPG and 6.4 APG in 28 games for Nebraska in 2019/20, but won’t be returning to the Cornhuskers, who suspended him indefinitely near the end of the season.
  • Georgetown big man Omer Yurtseven will enter the draft and won’t return to college, Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports tweets. Born in Turkey, Yurtseven averaged 15.5 PPG and 9.8 RPG in 26 games with the Hoyas. The 7-footer also played two seasons with North Carolina State.
  • ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Insider link) has updated his 2021 mock draft, removing players who have declared for the 2020 draft and listing Cade Cunningham and Jalen Green as the current favorites to go first and second overall. Both Cunningham and Green would likely be No. 1 on big boards in 2020 if they were eligible to be drafted this year, Givony adds.

Draft Update: Wilson, Wagner, Williams, Yurtseven

Michigan’s D.J. Wilson has decided to remain in the draft, tweets Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress. The 6’10 sophomore is projected as a possible late first-rounder, with Givony putting him 29th in his top 100 list. Sources told Rod Beard of The Detroit News that Wilson has received a guarantee from the Jazz, who own the 24th and 30th picks (Twitter link). Wilson averaged 11.0 points and 5.3 rebounds for the Wolverines this season.

There are more draft decisions to report as tonight’s deadline for collegians to withdraws gets closer:

  • Wilson’s teammate, Moritz Wagner, will spend another season at Michigan, according to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter link). The 6’11” sophomore out of Germany was reluctant to make the move to the NBA until he was sure he is ready, relays Brendan F. Quinn of MLive (Twitter link). “I would’ve hated myself if I’d found myself in the D-League next year,” Wagner said. “I would rather play in college.”
  • Johnathan Williams is headed back to national runner-up Gonzaga (via Rothstein). The 6’9″ forward averaged 10.2 points per game as a junior and was a long shot to be drafted.
  • Omer Yurtseven will withdraw from the draft and spend another season at North Carolina State, tweets Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com. The 7-footer out of Uzbekistan was a part-time player with the Wolfpack as a freshman, averaging 5.9 points and 4.4 rebounds per night.
  • Justin Jackson has decided to spend another year at Maryland (via Goodman). DraftExpress projects the 6’8″ freshman to be a first-round pick in 2018.
  • Tacko Fall will be back at Central Florida next season (via Rothstein). The 7’6″ native of Senegal averaged 10.9 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game as a freshman with the Golden Knights.
  • MiKyle McIntosh has pulled out of the draft and plans to transfer from Illinois State, tweets Evan Daniels of Fox Sports 1. The Canadian forward averaged 12.7 points per game this season and will be eligible immediately at his next school.
  • Chris Clemons will return to Campbell next season (via Rothstein). The sophomore point guard would have been an extreme long shot to be drafted.

Draft Notes: Bradley, Swanigan, Deadline Decisions

North Carolina center Tony Bradley will hire an agent and remain in the NBA draft, tweets Shams Charania of The Vertical. After helping the Tar Heels capture the national championship, Bradley faces conflicting opinions about his draft status, with DraftExpress placing him 41st on its list of top 100 prospects but ESPN’s Chad Ford projecting him as a first-rounder at No. 22. The 6’10” freshman averaged 6.9 points and 5.1 rebounds during his lone season at North Carolina.

Bradley is among several dominoes that will fall as the deadline for withdrawing from the draft looms tonight. Here’s a roundup of some other prospects:

Here are several players have made a final decision to forgo the draft and head back to school:

Chris Crouse contributed to this post.

Draft Workouts: Bucks, Knicks, Raptors, Kings, Lakers

With the lottery out of the way, pre-draft workouts are starting to intensify around the league. We bring you a roundup of several that we heard about today:

Draft Workouts: Nets, Smith Jr., Magic, Bucks, Celtics

The Nets will be the only non-playoff team without a close eye on Tuesday night’s lottery results, since the Celtics have swap rights to their first-round pick. But after that swap is made, the Nets will hold the rights to the first-round picks for the two teams in action on Monday night, the Celtics and the Wizards. And Brooklyn is busy exploring its options for those two late first-round selections, along with its second-round pick.

According to Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com, the Nets will bring in Rawle Alkins, Melo Trimble, Kobi Simmons, Davon Reed, Amida Brimah, and Omer Yurtseven for a group workout on Tuesday. On Thursday, Brooklyn will take a closer look at Josh Hart and Tyler Dorsey. Meanwhile, Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan is also expected to be a part of that Thursday workout, per Nathan Baird of The Journal & Courier (Twitter link).

As Brooklyn does its homework on the non-lottery prospects in this year’s draft class, let’s check out a few more workout-related updates, including an additional note on Swanigan:

Draft Notes: Yurtseven, Thompson, Keene

North Carolina State freshman Omer Yurtseven has decided to declare for the 2017 NBA draft, according to a report from The Associated Press. Yurtseven, a seven-foot center from Turkey, averaged a modest 5.9 PPG and 4.4 RPG in his first – and perhaps only – college season. Per NC State spokesman Craig Hammel, the young big man won’t hire an agent right away, which will allow him to test the draft waters and potentially return to school for his sophomore year.

Here are a few more draft-related items to round up:

  • Another seven-footer, Ohio State’s Trevor Thompson, tells Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com that he plans to forgo his final year of college eligibility to enter this year’s draft. After testing the waters a year ago and ultimately withdrawing, Thompson appears more likely to keep his name in the draft this time around, though he’s no lock to be selected.
  • The nation’s leading scorer, Marcus Keene, has decided to enter the 2017 draft, a source tells Larry Lage of The Associated Press. The junior point guard averaged an eye-popping 30.0 PPG this season for Central Michigan.
  • Although only a handful of early entrants – including the three players noted above – have declared for the 2017 draft so far, ESPN’s Chad Ford (Insider link) takes a closer look at which underclassmen and international players figure to join that group. Top prospects like Lonzo Ball, Josh Jackson, and Malik Monk are among those described by Ford as having “one foot out the door.”
  • Sean Deveney of The Sporting News identifies 10 prospects who have plenty at stake in this year’s NCAA tournament.