The Nets got more flexibility Friday when the NBA granted the team a $5.7 million disabled player exception to compensate for the loss of Spencer Dinwiddie who is presumably out for the season with a partially torn ACL.
Shams Charania was first with the news...
The Brooklyn Nets have been granted a disabled player exception worth $5.7 million for the loss of starting guard Spencer Dinwiddie, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. The Nets have until April 19 to use the exception.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 22, 2021
The $5.7 million represents half of Dinwiddie’s salary this season. He tore his ACL in a game vs. the Hornets on December 27, then underwent surgery a week later.
The DPE will permit the Nets to sign, trade or claim off waivers any player making less than that amount ... as long as the player is on an expiring or one-year contract. In addition to the $5.7 million DPE, the Nets still have their MLE which is worth slightly less.
Although the DPE can be used up to April 19, its biggest value will be at the buyout deadline 10 days earlier. Players released before that date can participate in the playoffs. The NBA trade deadline is March 25.
The DPE does not come with a roster spot. The Nets would need an open roster spot to use it. The Nets currently have three open spots, but are expected to sign Norvel Pelle, a shot-blocking big as soon as he passes the NBA health and safety protocols. The DPE would count against the luxury tax threshold.
Dinwiddie has suggested that he could return to play before the end of the season, and hours after the DPE was granted, he posted video of him rehabbing...
But Sean Marks, in comments earlier this week on WFAN, downplayed that possibility.
“I’ll never rule Spencer out of anything, because there are very few guys who have shown the resilience he has to come back from any injury. He loves to prove people wrong, and has a chip on his shoulder,” Marks told Carton & Roberts. “But, an ACL tear is a serious injury and he has a lot at stake, so while I won’t rule him out, it’s going to be very difficult. There are a lot of things at stake here, but we want what is best for Spencer long-term.”
Should Dinwiddie be able to return to play, the grant of the DPE would not be affected. Nor would affect Dinwiddie’s contract status. His three-year deal ends at the end of the 2021-22 season but he has an player option and could become a restricted free agent in August.
Earlier Friday, before the Pelle news, Woj told Zach Lowe on his podcast that the Nets intended to sign veterans to fill their openings. “Nets have three open roster spots now,” said Woj.” I think they want to bring in more veterans. Not just size but some veterans, some good locker room guys.”
Adding Pelle gives them a rim protector to back-up DeAndre Jordan. Their biggest need now is a wing defender.