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Will Nets seek Disabled Player Exception for Brook Lopez? Doubtful

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Marc Stein reports that the Nets may seek a Disasbled Player Exception, equal to the MLE or about $5.15 million, to replace Brook Lopez.  But the likelihood of the Nets actually using a DPE, even if granted, is small.

Here's Stein's original tweet.

If the Nets choose to seek the DPE, they must apply for it before January 15 and the NBA must, after an independent medical review, determine that the player is out for the season. Once granted, it must be used before March 15 for a free agent signing but February 20, the trade deadline if it's used in a trade.The Nets could apply for the DPE but not use it.

However, if the Nets use the DPE, it would add to their salary cap and already enormous luxury tax burden. For every $1 million in salary, Mikhail Prokhorov would have to pay $7 million in luxury taxes on top of $82 million already committed.  That, tweets Ken Berger, makes it unlikely.

Devin Kharpertian writes the burden would be a little less than that, but still onerous even for an oligarch.

Moreover, as Larry Coon writes in CBAFAQ, the exception can be used to acquire a player in free agency or a trade, BUT there are several key restrictions  Here is his explanation of the DPE...

If this exception is granted, the team can acquire one player, via either trade or free agent signing, to replace the disabled player:

  • The team may sign a free agent for one season only, for 50% of the disabled player's salary or the amount of the Non-Taxpayer Mid-Level exception, whichever is less.
  • The team may trade for a player in the last season of his contract only (including any option years), who is making no more than 50% plus $100,000 of the disabled player's salary, or the amount of the Non-Taxpayer Mid-Level exception plus $100,000, whichever is less.

The restrictions --and added luxury taxes-- would seem to make the utility of the DPE difficult to measure.