The Brooklyn Nets are considering using the disabled player exception to replace center Brook Lopez, who they fear is out for the season with a fractured bone in his right foot.
The exception allows a team to replace a player who is out for the season, allowing them to sign a free agent the rest of the season. In Lopez’s case, the Nets would be able to sign a player for up to the non-taxpayer mid-level exception, or up to $5.15 million.
But if the Nets added a player for that salary, it would cost them as much as $29 million in luxury tax payments with the NBA’s new punitive tax measures that punish teams for overspending. Even adding someone for the minimum salary would cost them over $5 million.
In a season that’s started 9-17 even with Lopez, the Nets may not consider that type of investment worth the price.