The Magic have applied for a pair of disabled player exceptions, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who reports (via Twitter) that the team has requested DPEs for both Al-Farouq Aminu and Jonathan Isaac.
As we outline in our glossary entry on the disabled player exception, a team can apply for a DPE to replace a seriously injured player. In order for the exception to be granted, an NBA-designated physician must determine that the player is “substantially more likely than not” to be sidelined through at least June 15 of the current league year.
The Magic haven’t announced specific recovery timetables for Aminu and Isaac, simply ruling both players out indefinitely. The club said last Thursday that Isaac’s knee injury would be re-evaluated in eight-to-10 weeks and said yesterday that Aminu’s knee injury would be re-evaluated in 12 weeks.
If the NBA determines that both players are likely to be sidelined through June 15, the resulting disabled player exceptions would allow the Magic to sign replacement players for 50% of the injured players’ salaries. A 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.
A disabled player exception for Aminu would be worth $4,629,000, while one for Isaac would be worth $2,903,220.
The Magic are far enough below the tax line that they could safely use one or both of those exceptions to make a play for a free agent. I wouldn’t expect Orlando to be a top choice for the highest-profile veterans on the buyout market this winter, so the club’s ability to offer well above the minimum could come in handy when recruiting those players.
The deadline to use a disabled player exception is March 10. The Wizards, Pelicans, Trail Blazers, Lakers, and Nets all have DPEs available.