The Wolves have been decimated by injury this season, losing everyone from superstar Kevin Love to minimum-salaried Malcolm Lee for significant stretches. The league granted the team an injury exception that allowed Minnesota to temporarily carry 16 players in January, and GM David Kahn is once more looking into that possibility, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Such an exception would allow the Wolves to exceed the 15-man roster limit for a short time while some of the injured players recover. A team is only eligible for the exception if it's had four sick or injured players who've been out for three games and will continue to miss time. Minnesota certainly meets that criteria, as Lee, Chase Budinger and Brandon Roy have all been out for a while and don't appear poised to return, while Nikola Pekovic and Andrei Kirilenko will miss at least another week. Love will visit his surgeon next Wednesday, and hopes to be ready to return a week after that, according to Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune (Twitter link).
If the league grants the exception, the Wolves would use it to sign a big man to a 10-day contract, according to Wolfson. That Minnesota would only go with a 10-day deal makes sense, since the exception is temporary, and if they signed someone for the rest of the season, they'd have to waive a player with a guaranteed salary whenever the exception runs out. However, that's exactly what the Timberwolves did earlier this season. The first injury exception they received lasted 20 days, but when it was up the team chose to keep Chris Johnson and Mickael Gelabale, who had been on 10-day contracts, and waive Louis Amundson and his guaranteed contract.
The injury exception is not to be confused with a disabled player exception, which grants teams room to sign or trade for a player to replace someone who's out for the season.