With Brook Lopez being injured, the twitter feeds have been abuzz with news of what the nets are maybe kinda sorta planning on doing. One phrase that kept popping up on all things Nets related was something called the D.P.E. or Disabled Players Exception. I got curious as to what it actually was and how it worked, and found the results surprising.
bq. Allows a team that is over the cap to acquire a replacement for a disabled player who will be out for either the remainder of that season (for in-season injuries/deaths) or the next season (if the disability occurs during the offseason). The maximum salary of the replacement player is either 50% of the injured player's salary, or the mid-level exception for a non-taxpaying team, whichever is less. This exception requires an NBA-designated doctor to verify the extent of the injury. Under the 2005 CBA, a team could sign a player under this exception for five years; the 2011 CBA now allows this only for one year.
Wait...what? This is literally an MLE being handed out for teams that lose superstars, and it could be used like a trade exception as well for any player on an expiring contract. So why has this never been discussed with the bulls?
One potential reason is that the bulls are planning on tanking this season, and last season they were sure Rose was going to return. I suppose this season also possesses that unique challenge of whether or not rose will return, and maybe that is what disqualifies us. Still, I am more surprised that this wasnt discussed at all in the past two seasons, and am wondering if anyone would want to bother to utilize it this season. Is there anything worth the MLE that could make us contenders again?? Probably not....