The NBA has granted the Cavaliers a disabled player exception in response to the season-ending injury suffered by Anderson Varejao, Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports (Twitter link). The exception will be valued at approximately $4.85MM, or half of Varejao’s $9,704,545 salary for the 2014/15 season. Cleveland has until March 10th to use this exception on a player whose price tag fits into that allotment, whether it be through free agency or trade.
The Cavs were reportedly seeking a rim protecting big man prior to Varejao suffering a torn Achilles. Cleveland currently has the league maximum 15 players on their roster, including 12 players with fully guaranteed deals. This means that the Cavs would need to deal or release a player prior to signing or acquiring another body via trade. Cleveland has been in talks with the Celtics in recent days about Boston’s willingness to participate in a trade as a third team, though no deal appears to be imminent.
Varejao had started 26 games this season, averaging 9.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 1.3 assists while playing 24.5 minutes per contest. His slash line was .555/.000/.733.