The Nets have applied for the Disabled Player Exception on Brook Lopez and expect to hear from the league within the week on whether the NBA will grant it, says an NBA source. The Nets still are unlikely to use the $5 million exception but want to have it on hand if an opportunity arises.
Under the CBA, a team that loses a player for the season can apply to the league for a DPE. The amount of the DPE is limited to half the disabled player's salary or in the case of a max contract, an amount equal to the full MLE ... $5.15 if used to sign a free agent, $5.25 million if used in a trade (the MLE + $100,000). The team had until January 15 to file for the DPE. It can be used in a trade up until the February 20 deadline and can be used to sign a free agent up until March 15. At that point, it expires.
There are a number of restrictions on the use of a DPE.
--A DPE does not create an additional roster spot. A team must have an open roster spot to use it.
--A DPE can only be used to sign a free agent to a contract for the rest of this year or trade for a player who is on an expiring deal or one-year contract. Moreover, no Bird Rights attach to the player signed with a DPE.
--Like trade exceptions, a DPE can't be combined with a player in a trade.
--In the Nets case, there would be an additional luxury tax burden. If the Nets simply cut a player on a minimum contract and replaced him with a player signed with the DPE, it would cost them at least $4 million in additional taxes. Billy King has said that if the Nets saw an opportunity that would increase their luxury tax bill, they'd move on it. But he's not looking to make a big move.
At the time of the Lopez injury, team sources said it was "highly doubtful" they would use a DPE if greanted, "but it's good to have." The pool of players who would meet the restrictions and who can help the Nets at this point is small.
Report: Nets apply for Disabled Player Exception - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game