The Nets have been granted a disabled player exception following the loss of Spencer Dinwiddie. Dinwiddie underwent ACL reconstruction surgery after suffering a partially torn ACL early in the season.
What is a disabled player exception?
If a player is seriously injured, his team can apply for the disabled player exception to replace him. Like other salary cap exceptions though, the DPE allows a team to sign a player without using cap space.
A cap exception designed to give teams extra flexibility when a player suffers a season-ending injury, the disabled player exception can be used to sign a free agent, to claim a player off waivers, or to acquire a player in a trade. The Nets’ new DPE has a value of $5,727,024, half of Dinwiddie’s $11,454,048 salary for this season. Any player the Nets sign or acquire with the exception cannot be earning more than that amount.
The exception can only be used on a single player and can only accommodate a player on a one-year deal. A free agent signee cannot get a multiyear contract. Any trade or waiver target must be in the final year of his contract.
While the DPE does not create an extra roster spot for a team, that’s not an issue for the Nets. The Nets currently have three openings on their 15-man roster. Norvel Pelle will reportedly fill one of the three, but that still leaves two available. Since the Nets also still have the full taxpayer mid-level exception ($5.718MM) on hand, the DPE may end up being more useful on the trade market.
The Nets have until April 19 to use the exception. Brooklyn can either wait until either the trade deadline, March 25. Or, the Nets could wait to see which players receive buyouts.