Zylan Cheatham

Timberwolves Place Four Players On Waivers

As rumored earlier today, the Timberwolves have officially waived veteran forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, along with guard Charlie Brown Jr. and forwards Zylan Cheatham and Tyler Cook.

Hollis-Jefferson was in camp on a non-guaranteed, minimum-salary contract, but he played well in three preseason games, averaging 7.7 points and 2.0 rebounds per night. After four years in Brooklyn, he joined the Raptors last season and posted a 7.0/4.7/1.8 line in 60 games.

Brown appeared in 10 games for the Hawks last season, but spent most of his rookie year in the G League. Cheatham got into four games for the Pelicans as a rookie, while Cook played a combined 13 games for the Cavaliers and Nuggets.

The moves leave Minnesota’s roster at 14, with 12 guaranteed contracts, plus a pair of two-way players.

Timberwolves Sign Zylan Cheatham, Waive Ade Murkey

The Timberwolves made a pair of roster moves on Saturday, signing forward Zylan Cheatham and waiving forward Ade Murkey, according to RealGM. It’s likely an Exhibit 10 contract for Cheatham, who appears unlikely to make the regular season roster.

Cheatham, 25, was waived by the Thunder on Dec. 2 after he was part of the four-team deal that sent Steven Adams to New Orleans. The Arizona native signed a two-way deal with the Pelicans in July 2019 and subsequently made his NBA debut last season.

During the NBA’s restart in Orlando, Cheatham saw action in three contests for the Pelicans. In total, Cheatham posted averages of 3.0 PPG and 2.3 RPG in four games.

Minnesota signed the undrafted Murkey to an Exhibit 10 deal back in early December. The 22-year-old made one preseason appearance for the Timberwolves after appearing in 118 games across four seasons at the University of Denver. In that time, he posted averages of 10.6 PPG, 4.0 RPG and 2.0 APG. He was named to the 2020 All-Summit League Second Team.

Thunder Waive Zylan Cheatham

Zylan Cheatham, who was acquired in a four-team trade last week, has been waived by the Thunder, according to Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman.

Cheatham was among five players Oklahoma City received in the deal that sent Steven Adams to New Orleans. The Bucks and Nuggets were also involved in the trade.

Because Cheatham was a free agent, there had to be a sign-and-trade to include him in the deal. He will receive his $1.4MM salary for this season, but not the non-guaranteed money he had scheduled for 2021/22 and 2022/23.

The 25-year-old forward signed a two-way contract with the Pelicans prior to the NBA’s restart in Orlando. He appeared in three games, averaging 3.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in about 13 minutes per night.

On Tuesday, OKC waived guard Josh Gray, who was also part of the four-team trade. Mussatto notes that Cheatham and Gray became expendable after the Thunder reached a deal with Frank Jackson and acquired T.J. Leaf.

Western Contract Details: Grizzlies, KCP, Hood, Thunder

John Konchar‘s new deal with the Grizzlies, which will use part of the team’s mid-level exception, is guaranteed for the first two seasons, according to Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). In 2022/23, only $840K of Konchar’s full $2.3MM salary is guaranteed, and his $2.4MM salary for ’23/24 is non-guaranteed, Smith adds.

Konchar was one of a handful of Grizzlies who signed a multiyear contract that isn’t fully guaranteed on the back end. As Smith explains (via Twitter), De’Anthony Melton‘s four-year contract, which has a descending structure, only has a partial guaranteed of $1.5MM on his $8MM salary for 2023/24.

Meanwhile, Jontay Porter, who got a three-year deal, has a partial guarantee of $300K on his $1.95MM salary for 2021/22, then has a non-guaranteed $2MM salary in ’22/23, per Smith (Twitter link). Porter’s contract also came out of Memphis’ MLE.

Here are a few more contract details from around the Western Conference, all courtesy of Smith:

Four-Team Jrue Holiday, Steven Adams Trade Officially Complete

The Pelicans, Thunder, Bucks, and Nuggets have officially completed the four-team trade that will send Jrue Holiday to Milwaukee and Steven Adams to New Orleans, the Pelicans announced today in a press release.

In total, the mega-deal involves 10 players, five draft picks, and two future pick swaps. The trade breaks down as follows:

  • Bucks acquire Holiday and the draft rights to Sam Merrill (No. 60 pick; from Pelicans).
  • Pelicans acquire Adams, Eric Bledsoe, the Bucks’ 2025 first-round pick (unprotected), the Bucks’ 2027 first-round pick (unprotected), and the right to swap first-round picks with the Bucks in 2024 and 2026.
  • Thunder acquire George Hill, Darius MillerKenrich Williams (sign-and-trade), Josh Gray (sign-and-trade), Zylan Cheatham (sign-and-trade), the Nuggets’ 2023 first-round pick (top-14 protected), the Wizards’ 2023 second-round pick (from Pelicans), and the Hornets’ 2024 second-round pick (from Pelicans).
  • Nuggets acquire the draft rights to RJ Hampton (No. 24 pick; from Bucks).

The deal began when the Bucks and Pelicans reached an agreement on a trade sending Holiday to Milwaukee last week. From there, the Thunder got involved when New Orleans agreed to flip Hill to Oklahoma City in a trade for Adams.

A draft-night deal between the Nuggets and Pelicans that involved the Nuggets’ 2023 first-rounder and the Bucks’ No. 24 pick (sent to New Orleans as part of the original Holiday agreement) was folded in to make it a four-team trade when the Pels agreed to flip Denver’s ’23 pick to OKC as part of the Adams package.

As cap expert Albert Nahmad has pointed out (via Twitter), it’s an intricate, complex transaction that had to make use of a slew of CBA rules. The Pelicans, who are signing Adams to a two-year extension as part of the trade, needed to sign-and-trade Williams, Gray, and Cheatham to Oklahoma City and guarantee most or all of Miller’s $7MM salary in order to abide by salary-matching rules.

Meanwhile, Adams gets a trade bonus worth a little over $2MM as part of the deal, while the Thunder create the largest trade exception in NBA history, worth $27.5MM, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link).

Unfortunately, as Nahmad observes (via Twitter), Oklahoma City will likely have to use that massive TPE immediately to accommodate the acquisition of Al Horford. Still, as John Hollinger of The Athletic writes, the Thunder should come out of their series of transactions with a handful of usable trade exceptions, including one worth $15.4MM.

A full breakdown of this offseason’s trades – including the ones not yet made official – can be found right here.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Williams, Gray, Cheatham Being Signed-And-Traded To Thunder In Adams Trade

Kenrich Williams, Josh Gray, and Zylan Cheatham will be dealt from the Pelicans to the Thunder as part of the massive multi-team trade that will send Jrue Holiday to Milwaukee and Steven Adams to New Orleans, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter).

[RELATED: Thunder trading Steven Adams to Pelicans]

The Pelicans needed to send out a little more salary in order to accommodate the incoming contracts of Adams ($27.5MM) and Eric Bledsoe ($16.9MM). Because Williams, Gray, and Cheatham were free agents, they’ll have to be signed-and-traded to be included in the deal.

Sign-and-trade contracts must run for at least three seasons, with a fully guaranteed first year, so being included in the trade will work out well for Williams, Gray, and Cheatham, as Bobby Marks of ESPN notes (via Twitter). They would have been hard-pressed to find fully guaranteed minimum-salary contracts on the open market.

Darius Miller – who is also being sent to Oklahoma City from New Orleans – is another big winner in the swap, as he’ll have his $7MM salary guaranteed for salary-matching purposes.

With all of those players being included in the deal, Adams will no longer be required to waive his trade kicker, worth about $2MM, tweets Marks. That’ll bump the veteran center’s cap hit to about $29.6MM.

As reported by Charania, the blockbuster Holiday/Adams deal currently looks like this:

  • Bucks to acquire Holiday and the draft rights to Sam Merrill (No. 60 pick; from Pelicans).
  • Pelicans to acquire Adams, Bledsoe, the Bucks’ 2025 first-round pick (unprotected), the Bucks’ 2027 first-round pick (unprotected), and the right to swap first-round picks with the Bucks in 2024 and 2026.
  • Thunder to acquire George Hill, Miller, Williams, Gray, Cheatham, the Nuggets’ 2023 first-round pick (top-14 protected), the Wizards’ 2023 second-round pick (from Pelicans), and the Hornets’ 2024 second-round pick (from Pelicans).
  • Nuggets to acquire the draft rights to RJ Hampton (No. 24 pick; from Bucks).

It’s not clear if that’s what the trade will look like in its final form or if more pieces will be added before it becomes official.

The Bucks are taking the protections off the 2022 first-round pick they previously sent to the Cavaliers, and Cleveland is getting an extra second-round pick for Milwaukee for accommodating that change, which frees up the future first-rounders to be sent to New Orleans. That pick going to the Cavs will be Indiana’s 2025 second-rounder, per John Hollinger of The Athletic.

The Bucks/Cavaliers aspect of the deal could be completed separately, as cap expert Albert Nahmad tweets. But if it gets rolled into this trade, it would mean a fifth team joining the fray once it becomes official.

All-Star Brandon Ingram, Others Receive Qualifying Offers

Pelicans All-Star forward Brandon Ingram has become a restricted free agent after New Orleans extended him his $9.48MM qualifying offer, Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports tweets.

The No. 2 pick by the Lakers in 2016, Ingram was one of the key players moved in the mega-blockbuster summer 2019 trade that sent Anthony Davis from the Pelicans to Los Angeles. He was voted the Most Improved Player and received his first All-Star berth during his inaugural season with the Pelicans in 2019/20. He is widely considered one of the best free agents among the 2020 class.

The Pelicans also issued a qualifying offer to two-way player Zylan Cheatham, Smith noted in a separate tweet. The 6’5″ forward out of San Diego State and Arizona State saw his first NBA action in three games for New Orleans during this past season.

Listed below are a few more updates on two-way players being issued qualifying offers across the NBA. These offers are one-year, two-way deals with a $50K guarantee. While these players are free to accept their QOs, most will probably seek a standard contract with their current team or an offer sheet with a new club, if possible.

  • Two-way Raptors small forward Oshae Brissett was tendered a qualifying offer, JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors tweets. The 6’7″ 21-year-old out of Syracuse appeared in 19 games for Toronto, and is now a two-way restricted free agent.
  • Timberwolves two-way players Kelan Martin and Jordan McLaughlin were both extended qualifying offers by Minnesota, making them two-way restricted free agents, per Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Martin, a 6’5″ small forward out of Butler, appeared in 31 games with the Timberwolves, averaging 6.4 PPG and 3.1 RPG. McLaughlin, a 5’11” point guard out of USC, averaged 7.6 PPG and 4.2 APG across 30 games for Minnesota. He also exhibited a solid three-point stroke, knocking down 38.2% of his 2.5 three-point attempts.
  • The Knicks have made two-way point guard Jared Harper a qualifying offer, making him a restricted free agent, per Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link).
  • 6’5″ Jazz two-way forward Jarrell Brantley has been given a qualifying offer by the Jazz, effectively making him a restricted free agent, per Tony Jones of The Athletic (Twitter link). Brantley appeared in nine games for Utah.

Southwest Notes: Pelicans, Powell, House, Grizzlies

The Pelicans have become the latest NBA franchise to add a female assistant coach to their ranks, announcing today in a press release that WNBA Hall-of-Famer Teresa Weatherspoon has joined the franchise as a player development coach.

According to the Pelicans, Weatherspoon and newly-hired coach A.J. Diggs will serve as two-way assistant coaches, working closely with the club’s two-way players and accompanying them as they go back and forth between the Pelicans and the Erie BayHawks. Currently, New Orleans’ two-way players are Josh Gray and Zylan Cheatham.

“I am thrilled to welcome and AJ and Teresa to our coaching staff here in New Orleans,” Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry said in a statement. “As we continue to put an increased emphasis on player development, AJ and Teresa will play an integral role with our younger players and will be a huge asset to our players and staff both here in New Orleans and Erie.”

Weatherspoon is the second former WNBA star to be hired the Pelicans this offseason, joining Swin Cash, who was named the club’s VP of basketball operations and team development.

Let’s round up a few more items from around the Southwest…

Zylan Cheatham Signs Two-Way Deal With Pelicans

JULY 24, 3:24pm: The Cheatham signing is official, according to a team press release.

JUNE 21, 12:59am: The Pelicans are signing Arizona State forward Zylan Cheatham to a two-way contract, tweets Alex Kennedy of Hoops Hype, and will pick up a couple more undrafted free agents as well.

Aubrey Dawkins of Central Florida has agreed to an Exhibit 10 deal, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link), and Javon Bess of St. Louis will sign with New Orleans as well, relays Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Cheatham averaged 12.1 points and 10.3 rebounds per game in his first season with the Sun Devils after two years at San Diego State. ESPN’s Jonathan Givony lists him as the fifth-best available player after the draft.

Dawkins is best known for his outstanding performance against Duke and his new teammate, Zion Williamson, in the NCAA Tournament. Dawkins poured in 32 points as the Knights lost at the buzzer in the second round.

Bess is an older prospect at 23, but he is coming off a strong senior season with the Billikens, averaging 15.3 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.

Draft Rumors: Wolves, Pistons, Hornets, Knicks

While the Timberwolves were exploring trades involving the No. 6 pick after acquiring it from Phoenix, they plan on hanging onto Jarrett Culver, tweets Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic.

Still, it’s safe to assume Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas will continue to be aggressive in exploring trade options, according to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News, who tweets that Rosas seems to be open to discussing anyone except Karl-Anthony Towns.

Here are a few more draft-night notes and rumors:

  • Sekou Doumbouya was higher than No. 15 on the Pistons‘ draft board, so the team was happy to snag him, a source tells Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press (Twitter link). Ellis hears that the Pistons were also seriously considering big man Goga Bitadze at No. 15 (Twitter link). Pistons executive Ed Stefanski said that Detroit explored trading up, but teams wanted too much, tweets Rod Beard of The Detroit News.
  • The Hornets were close to trading up from No. 12, but felt like the price was excessive compared to what their options at No. 12 were, Hornets president of basketball operations Mitch Kupchak said tonight (Twitter link via Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer). Kupchak added that Charlotte views PJ Washington as both a small forward and power forward.
  • Jalen McDaniels, Miye Oni, Zylan Cheatham, and Jaylen Nowell are among the prospects receiving consideration from the Knicks at No. 55, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post, who tweets that New York likely won’t draft Tacko Fall.