Name: Omer Yurtseven
School: North Carolina State
Hometown: Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Weight: 245 lbs.
Stats: 6.2 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 0.8 BPG
Yurtseven has a lot more experience than most 18-year old draft prospects. Before spending one year in the always competitive Atlantic Coast Conference – arguably the best in all of college basketball – he played for Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce Ulker and was teammates with former Celtics swingman Gigi Datome as well as former NBA players Pero Antic and Ekpe Udoh. They took on the Brooklyn Nets in a preseason exhibition game before the 2015-16 season and Yurtseven scored eight points to go along with seven rebounds and a block in 15 minutes off the bench, not bad for a kid who was just 17 at the time.
His size is great for any center, standing at seven feet with a seven foot wingspan to match and a 9’1″ standing reach to top it all off. Scouts rave about his basketball IQ but he does struggle to hold space on the floor against more physical opponents and any NBA team that takes him will hope to see him add a few pounds to that slender frame.
He missed the first nine games of last season over an eligibility depute but he looked good out of the gate, averaging 11.0 PPG on 54.8% shooting along with 5.5 RPG through four non-conference games. His production did slow down once ACC competition started and he was going against other centers with NBA aspirations each night he took the floor.
How He Fits
Boston could be in the market for some size this summer. Amir Johnson and Jonas Jerebko will both be unrestricted free agents, Kelly Olynyk will be a restricted free agent and Tyler Zeller has an $8 million team option that probably won’t get picked up. This only leaves Al Horford and Jordan Mickey as front court players with guaranteed contracts for next year, and this would open the door for Yurtseven to get playing time right away. 2016 first round picks Ante Zizic and Guerschon Yabusele are both expected to join the Celtics next year, creating a fierce battle in summer league and training camp for playing time.
Mock drafts seem to have Yurtseven all over the place. A lot of them will place him early in the second round while others – such as DraftExpress – don’t even have him on the board. There is a good chance that he pulls out of the draft and returns to NC State for one more season. He’s currently declared for the draft and will be attending the upcoming scouting combine, but Yurtseven hasn’t hired an agent yet so he’ll be allowed to withdraw his name from consideration after the combine if he chooses.