The Magic have been granted a disabled player exception by the NBA as a result of Jonathan Isaac‘s season-ending knee injury, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). Isaac suffered a torn ACL in his left knee during the NBA’s restart at Disney World and underwent surgery in August.
The disabled player exception is a salary cap exception designed to allow teams to add a replacement for a player who suffers a major injury. It’s worth either half the injured player’s salary or the value of the non-taxpayer mid-level exception, whichever is lesser.
Since Isaac’s salary in 2020/21 is $7,362,566, Orlando’s new trade exception will be worth half that amount: $3,681,283.
The disabled player exception doesn’t give a team an extra roster spot, but it allows the club to add a player without using cap space to do so. It can be used to sign a free agent, to claim a player off waivers, or to acquire a player in a trade. However, it can only be used on one player and can only accommodate a player on a one-year deal. A free agent signee can’t get a multiyear contract, and any trade or waiver target must be in the final year of his contract.
The Magic probably won’t be in a rush to use their DPE — using it in full would bump their team salary over the tax line. Still, it could be a useful tool at some point this season. They’re the second team to be granted a disabled player exception this season, joining the Warriors (Klay Thompson).