Omer Yurtseven tells Semih Tuna of Eurohoops that he received interest from two Turkish teams before deciding to sign with the Jazz last month. The 25-year-old center, who spent his first two seasons with Miami, said he wants to try to establish himself in the NBA before giving consideration to playing in his native country.
“Fenerbahce and Anadolu Efes were interested,” Yurtseven said. “Fenerbahce is my home, and I also love Erdem Can, my former coach, but even if I wanted to come here towards the end of my career, now is not the time.”
Yurtseven, who is spending this summer with the Turkish national team, became an unrestricted free agent when the Heat opted not to give him a qualifying offer. He had a promising rookie year, but was limited to nine games last season after undergoing ankle surgery. He’s happy to get a chance to start over in Utah.
“Having coach Will Hardy at Utah Jazz, playing with Europeans in significant positions, and being a young team, I couldn’t see any negatives, so it was an easy choice among my top three preferences,” Yurtseven said.
There’s more from the Northwest Division:
- Anthony Edwards believes the Timberwolves would been much better if not for a calf injury that forced Karl-Anthony Towns to miss most of the season, per Sam Yip of HoopsHype. “I think if we get KAT for a whole season, we’ll be all right,” Edwards said. He added that the trade for Mike Conley in February brought a much-needed veteran presence to the team and expressed delight that Minnesota was able to reach an extension with Naz Reid.
- In a mailbag column, Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman projects the Thunder‘s 15-man roster for opening night. Mussatto expects Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Jack White, TyTy Washington and Victor Oladipo to all be waived at some point.
- Anfernee Simons expressed support for Trail Blazers teammate Damian Lillard to Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian (Twitter link). Asked what it would be like to lose his mentor in a potential trade, Simons responded, “A lot of people ask me that question all the time, obviously, like what’s going on with Dame. I say, ‘They say he asked for a trade, he asked for a trade.’ That was it. Obviously, me and Dame have a close relationship. I’m always going to support him no matter what.”