Grizzlies Granted Disabled Player Exception

The Grizzlies have been granted a disabled player exception worth $6.3MM for the season-ending loss of Steven Adams, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania (Twitter link).

Adams is out for the 2023/24 season after undergoing surgery to address his right posterior cruciate ligament after “non-operative rehabilitation” failed to properly fix the issues in his knee.

As explained in our glossary, a disabled player exception allows an over-the-cap team some spending power when it loses a player to an injury deemed likely to sideline him through at least June 15 of that season. The exception is worth either half the injured player’s salary or the non-taxpayer mid-level exception, whichever is lesser. Adams is on track to earn $12.6MM this season, so the exception is worth half that.

The exception can be used to sign a free agent, claim a player off waivers or acquire a player in a trade. It can only be used on one single player and can only be utilized for a one-year deal. Any player being acquired via trade or waiver claim must have just one year remaining on his contract.

It’s important to note that a disabled player exception does not open up a roster spot for the Grizzlies, or any other team who uses one. In order to use the exception, Memphis needs to have an open roster spot. The Grizzlies currently have 15 players on standard contracts, plus Ja Morant on the suspended list, so they’d have to make a cut or trade to use the exception. The Grizzlies face a March 11 deadline to use the DPE for Adams.

Adams, 30, has been with Memphis since the 2021/22 season. In 118 games over the past two seasons, he’s been an integral part of the team’s competitive identity, averaging 7.5 points, 10.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 0.9 steals and 0.9 blocks per night.

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