Having already been granted a disabled player exception following Jonathan Isaac‘s season-ending ACL tear, the Magic have now applied for a second DPE in the wake of Markelle Fultz suffering the same injury, reports Josh Robbins of The Athletic.
As we explained when the Magic were approved for their initial disabled player exception, the DPE is a salary cap exception designed to allow teams to add a replacement for a player who suffers a season-ending injury. It’s worth either half the injured player’s salary or the value of the non-taxpayer mid-level exception, whichever is lesser.
In the case of Fultz, who is earning a $12,288,697 salary this season, a disabled player exception would be worth about $6.14MM.
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 currently have a full 15-man roster and are less than $3MM away from the luxury tax line, per Robbins, so the odds probably aren’t great that the team would make use of two disabled player exceptions before the April 19 deadline. Still, they’re useful tools to have available and could be used to creatively structure a trade at the deadline.
As Robbins notes, the Magic could also consider applying for a hardship exception if they want to add immediate help to a roster hit hard by injuries. Unlike the DPE, approval for a hardship exception allows the team to sign an extra player to its standard 15-man roster. Teams qualify when they have at least four players who have missed three or more games, assuming those players are expected to be sidelined for at least two more weeks.
In addition to the season-ending injuries to Isaac and Fultz, the Magic will be without Chuma Okeke (bone bruise) for several weeks, and there has been little indication when Al-Farouq Aminu (knee surgery) might be able to return.