As expected, the Heat have been granted a disabled player exception that could be used to replace injured guard Dion Waiters, reports Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). The exception will be worth $5.5MM, half of Waiters’ salary.
The Heat applied for that disabled player exception in advance of the January 15 deadline, though Waiters didn’t undergo his season-ending ankle surgery until a few days later. The NBA’s decision on the DPE was a little delayed because an independent physician had to determine that Waiters is more likely than not to be sidelined through June 15.
With their new $5.5MM exception, the Heat will be able to sign a player to a rest-of-season contract or acquire a player in the final year of his contract via trade or waiver claim. The club will have until March 12 to use the DPE, so the trade market and buyout market could both be options.
Earlier today, we identified the NBA teams that have been awarded disabled player exceptions this season after losing players to season-ending injuries. The Pistons are the only club still believed to be waiting on DPE approval, having applied for one once Jon Leuer was ruled out for the season.