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Nets get $5.25 million disabled player exception approved for injured Brook Lopez

Jan 8, 2014, 8:45 AM EDT

Denver Nuggets v Brooklyn Nets Getty Images

It’s been well-documented that the Nets will have the league’s highest payroll this season when including luxury tax costs, a bill that will total in the neighborhood of $180 million when all is said and done.

The league offered Brooklyn a small amount of relief on Tuesday, granting the Nets a disabled payer exception worth $5.25 million that the team can use to replace the injured Brook Lopez if it chooses to do so.

From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

After the season-ending injury to center Brook Lopez, the NBA has approved a $5.25 million disabled player exception for the Brooklyn Nets, a league source told Yahoo Sports.

For Brooklyn to use the full exception and pay the ensuring luxury-tax bill, it would cost the Nets approximately an additional $20 million on top of the $180 million-plus in roster salary and taxes they’re already paying this season.

The Nets have until March 10 to use the exception through a free-agent signing or a trade. The Nets have a full roster of 15 players, so they would need to clear a roster spot to make use of the exception.

Multiple reports have the cost of adding an additional player with the exception to be in the $16-$20 million range, and with the championship aspirations seemingly out the window now that we’ve seen exactly how little Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett appear to have left, it doesn’t make sense to spend all that money for a player who may or may not ultimately affect the team’s immediate future.

Andrew Bynum is an interesting name, of course, but it’s unclear if there would be mutual interest in a pairing at any price. Bynum wasn’t engaged in Cleveland, and it may take a championship or bust situation to truly pique his interest.

Most reports say the Nets won’t use this exception to add additional talent, due to the prohibitive cost. But they applied for it and it has been granted, so it’s at the very least something to watch.

  1. apkyletexas - Jan 8, 2014 at 9:46 AM

    I’m wondering – how is it NOT throwing games for the Bulls to get rid of their best healthy player mid-season?

    Shouldn’t there be some sort of league investigation?

    If Stern is able to fine Popovich a quarter-million-dollars for resting his 3 top players for 1 game, how is it that the Bulls can dump Deng and give up on their entire season with no repercussions?

    • gentlewomansquarterly - Jan 8, 2014 at 9:59 AM

      Deng is an unrestricted free agent. The Bulls were not resigning him so they received a possible first round draft pick, two second round picks and some cap relief for acknowledging that early.

      Toronto also got rid of their best player, and well, you see how that went. So don’t assume “talent”=wins. Generally, when the Spurs bench their three MOST RECOGNIZABLE players, they also compete and often win.

      The fines for the Spurs have little to do with competition and everything to do with marketing.

    • floridacowboy - Jan 8, 2014 at 10:15 AM

      It is throwing games. Its called tanking.

      Im pretty sure you are allowed to do it as long as you dont publicly admit it.

      But the Bulls did get:

      — out of the luxury tax this year saving millions
      — and either a 1st rounder and 2 2 nd rounders, or maybe just 3 2nd rounders.

      Cavs got the better end of the deal but dont be surprised if they still suck and if Deng walks away in the Summer

    • adoombray - Jan 8, 2014 at 10:17 AM

      Thank you. Way too many people looked at that Bulls trade and called it a good thing for the Bulls. Luol Deng was not only their best player for the season, he was arguably their second best player behind Rose (and that’s not disrespect to Noah) because of his versatility. Furthermore, Coach Thibs loved Deng and would tell you anytime when asked about how he appreciate that Luol filled in whatever blank the team was missing at the time.

      That was a good trade for the guys who sign the checks for the Bulls. For the team it was a mistake. Always checkin out that greener grass on the other side of the fence, they just needed a healthy Rose, not a “partner when Rose is theoretically healthy which he hasn’t been.”

    • timberwolvesbrisin - Jan 8, 2014 at 11:28 AM

      Um, because they got multiple picks for a player on an expiring deal. Cleveland got fleeced. They’d be better off with one more lottery pick in this deep draft.

      • apkyletexas - Jan 8, 2014 at 12:15 PM

        That’s not my question – how many picks did they get – my question was why aren’t they in trouble for deliberately tanking their season?

        Face it – the Bulls dumped their best healthy player in a deal to save some money, and in a bid to get worse and improve their lottery chances.

        If the Bulls had kept Bynum, you could argue that they somehow valued him more as a player in their scheme. But they never even planned to keep Bynum – this whole move was a salary dump and an attempt to get worse in the short-term. How is that not a violation of the integrity of the game?

        Especially when you consider Popovich isn’t even allowed to make his own determination about when to rest his 3 best players for just 1 game. Dumping your team’s best healthy player for a half season in a bid to get worse – that’s the very definition of violating the integrity of the game.

    • tk41 - Jan 8, 2014 at 12:22 PM

      You’re both wayyyy off base.
      @timberwolvesbrisin – the pick is top 12 protected this year. Kings aren’t going to be above that. So, it is EXTREMELY unlikely they’ll have another lottery pick this year. They get the pick if the Kings pick higher than 10th before 2017 – otherwise, its a 2nd rounder in 2017. So, Cleveland didn’t really get “fleeced”, they got a 2 time all-star for a future first & two seconds. Cleveland just opted for short term over long term. This is, generally speaking, what good teams do when they can win a championship or what bad teams do at any other point. Cleveland is not winning a championship.
      @apkyletexas – Deng hasn’t been healthy. Hes played in about 1/2 of their games due to a myriad of injuries. There isn’t a league investigation because the NBA (and all other leagues) permit teams to trade current assets for future ones. The NBA fined the Spurs for not informing the league in advance of a nationally televised game that it intended to sit marquee players.
      Finally, I don’t really think the Bulls “gave up”. I don’t think any Thibs coached team could ever “give up”. What they did was give up a .0001% chance of a championship this year to retool & make a run in the future.

      • tk41 - Jan 8, 2014 at 12:32 PM

        @apkyletexas – you know not of what you speak & don’t appear to understand the cap ramifications of this move. As a close follower of the bulls, allow me to explain the logic:
        They did it to open up cap space (presumably) to sign former first round pick (and reigning European player of the year) Nikola Mirotic to a deal above the mid-level exception. They did this because his current team (Barcelona) has offered him a new contract and he would have to pay about $2.3M-ish of his own buyout since the CBA limits what teams can pay. If the Bulls kept Bynum, they’d have a cap hold and would be significantly restricted in what they could offer him.
        The bulls aren’t improving lottery chances as there is still a VERY good chance they’ll make the playoffs (because Thibs is a maniac). If they do miss the playoffs, they’ll be picking so high that they will have a minimal chance at a high pick. They also hold Charlotte’s first this year if it is above 10th (which it would be at this point). They will have plenty of assets. This team is taking a step back for 45 games to get much better in the future

  2. JMClarkent - Jan 8, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    Could you imagine Bynum playing with KG? AB would be in tears by halftime.

    • beavertonsteve - Jan 9, 2014 at 6:32 PM

      Bynum can be lazy and unmotivated, but he does have a temper. I wouldn’t put it past him to end his careeer by going Spreewell on KG mid-game.

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