NBA Grants Miami Heat $4.7 Million Disabled Player Exception Due to Meyers Leonards’ Season-Ending Injury

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Miami Heat center Meyers Leonard (0) dribbles the ball against the New Orleans Pelicans during the second half at American Airlines Arena

In what has been a disappointing season thus far for the Miami Heat, the team got some positive news on Tuesday morning. The NBA announced they would grant the Heat a Disabled Player Exception worth $4.7 million to compensate for the season-ending injury to Meyers Leonard. NBA Insider Shams Charania first reported the news.

The Disabled Player Exception Explained

The Disabled Player Exception (DPE) can be a valuable asset for teams. A DPE “allows a team which is over the cap to replace a disabled player who will be out for the remainder of that season.” This means that the salary of a player added via the DPE does not count against the teams’ salary cap. This exception gives teams the flexibility to make roster moves before the trade deadline.

So far this season, the NBA has issued four other DPE’s. One was to the Golden State Warriors, who received a $9.25 million exception after the injury to Klay Thompson. The Magic received two DPE’s after injuries to Markelle Fultz and Jonathan Isaac. (Note: Magic cannot combine the two DPE’s they received due to Isaac and Fultz’s injuries. Both DPE’s must be used separately.) The Brooklyn Nets received a DPE after losing guard Spencer Dinwiddie to a torn ACL. The final one was to the Washington Wizards, who lost center Thomas Bryant to an ACL injury.

The Heat received their DPE as a result of Meyers Leonard’s season-ending injury. On February 2nd, Miami announced that Leonard would undergo season-ending shoulder surgery. Leonard had appeared in just one game since Dec. 29th.

While Leonard’s injury means that the Heat are losing a big man, Miami can use their DPE on a position of their choosing. The Heat may choose to add some guard depth, as Goran Dragic remains sidelined with an ankle injury he sustained on Feb. 5th. The Heat have until April 19th to utilize the DPE.

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