In talking about D’Angelo Russell’s surgery Friday, Sean Marks said there’s “probably a pretty good chance" Brooklyn will now apply for a disabled player exception ... for Jeremy Lin.
The Nets haven’t yet applied for the DPE which could give them up to $6 million in additional cap space. A DPE is only awarded for a player who’s out for the season. So the Nets can only apply for Lin, not Russell, who the team does expect back after arthroscopic knee surgery. Once the Nets apply for the DPE, the NBA will review Lin’s medical records and likely award the exception. The process generally takes a week.
The DPE would provide the $6 million in cap space — half Lin’s salary this season — but there are limits to how the Nets could use the cap space.
Here are the details...
The Nets have to apply to the league for the DPE prior to January 15 ... three weeks before the February 8 trade deadline. Under terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the league’s Fitness-to-Play panel or an NBA-approved physician must certify that Lin is substantially more likely than not to be out through June 15. That, of course, is basically a given. A patellar rupture is a serious injury for a basketball player ... and rare.
Once the Nets get the DPE, they do not have to use it immediately. They will have until March 10. Here’s where it starts getting complicated.
Yes, the Nets could use the DPE to sign a player, to claim a player off waivers or to help make or facilitate a trade. Here are restrictions.
—The Nets must have an open roster spot, which of course at this point, they do not. The DPE does not afford roster relief.
—The DPE can be used on just one player. No splitting it. No combining it with another exception or another player’s salary or cap space to take in anything more than $6 million.
—If used in a trade, DPE’s trade value is different from a player’s value Trade rules allow a team to acquire the value of the exception, plus $100,000. So, for the purposes of a trade, the DPE can be valued at no more than $6.1 million. (With a player, it’s the value of the contract plus 25 percent.)
—Perhaps most importantly, any player acquired, under any circumstance, must be either a free agent or on an expiring deal. If used on a free agent, the player must sign only a one-year contract. If used to trade for a player or claim a player on waivers, that player must be on an expiring contract. And that means no player option, no team option beyond this season.
There are a few other criteria to keep in mind. The first is that it must be used by March 10th. If it goes unused, it will expire. Second is that the DPE does not pro-rate, unlike other exceptions. It remains at the full amount, no matter when it is used.
Got it? Okay, get out the ESPN trade machine.
Thanks to the Celtics Blog from which most of this is derived. The Celtics of course lost Gordon Hayward on Opening Night to a broken ankle. The Celtics applied for the DPE and was awarded it on October 28.