DECEMBER 22: The Heat have signed Cheatham, the club formally announced today (via Twitter). His 10-day deal will run through December 31, covering Miami’s next five scheduled games.
DECEMBER 21: The Heat plan to sign free agent wing Zylan Cheatham to a 10-day contract via a hardship exception, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Cheatham won’t count against the team’s roster limit, so no corresponding move is required.
Cheatham, who went undrafted out of Arizona State in 2019, spent his rookie season on a two-way contract with the Pelicans. However, he appeared in just four NBA games for the club and was sent to Oklahoma City in a sign-and-trade for salary-matching purposes during the 2020 offseason.
The 26-year-old has played in the G League since then and has spent the current season with the Birmingham Squadron, New Orleans’ affiliate. In 13 NBAGL games (30.5 MPG), he has averaged a double-double (14.2 PPG, 10.4 RPG) with a solid .491/.429/.806 shooting line.
Miami only has one player – Caleb Martin – in the health and safety protocols, but has been hit hard by injuries as of late. Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler, Markieff Morris, P.J. Tucker, and Victor Oladipo are all sidelined due to various ailments, rendering a hardship signing necessary.