DECEMBER 24: The Nets’ DPE request has been granted, tweets Alex Schiffer of The Athletic.
DECEMBER 20: With David Nwaba expected to miss the rest of the season due to a torn right Achilles, the Nets have applied for a disabled player exception, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).
As we outline in our glossary entry on the disabled player exception, the NBA can grant a team a DPE to replace an injured player if the player is “substantially more likely than not” to be sidelined through at least June 15 of that league year.
If granted, the disabled player exception allows a club to sign a replacement player for 50% of the injured player’s salary, or for the amount of the non-taxpayer’s mid-level exception, whichever is lesser. The DPE, which doesn’t give a team an extra roster spot, can also be used to acquire a player on an expiring contract via trade or waivers if his salary fits into the exception.
[RELATED: 2019/20 NBA Disabled Player Exceptions]
Nwaba is on a minimum-salary contract, so even though the Nets’ request is very likely to be approved, it won’t help the team a whole lot. Brooklyn’s DPE would be worth just $839K.
The Nets would have until March 10 to use the exception, so it could come in handy later in the season when a prorated minimum-salary contract for a veteran will be worth less than $839K. For the time being, a minimum-salary deal would be worth more than the DPE for any player who’s not a rookie.
If the Nets want to bring back Iman Shumpert or sign another free agent, they’ll need to open up a roster spot. Trading or waiving Nwaba or another player would be the easiest path. Applying for a 16th roster spot via the hardship provision is another option, though the uncertain recovery timelines for Kyrie Irving, Caris LeVert, and Nicolas Claxton make it unclear whether or not that request would be approved.