When Paul George suffered a fractured leg at USA Basketball’s showcase in Las Vegas, it not only ended his 2015 season with the Pacers, but it turned Indiana from a top-tier team in the East into one that will probably finish outside of the playoff picture.
The league has remedies for teams in these situations, in the form of a disabled player exception that allows them to add a replacement to the roster.
Indiana applied for one and has now reportedly received it, according to Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star. But it remains to be seen if they’ll even bother to use it.
BREAKING: Pacers have just received a disabled player exception from the NBA. They’ll have roughly $2 million to spend on another player.
The Pacers would actually have $5.3 million to spend on a player they signed to a one-year deal, or $5.4 million on one they traded for or claimed off of waivers who was in the final year of his contract. But that approximate $2 million figure is thrown out because spending any more than that would put Indiana into luxury tax territory, something Pacers president Larry Bird has said repeatedly that ownership is not going to approve.
That’s a big reason the Pacers pursuing Shawn Marion seemed a bit silly. Not only would Marion not want to join a team that might struggle to make the playoffs at this stage in his career, but he could command more money than Indiana is willing to spend.
The Pacers may add someone, but don’t expect much in the way of realistic help for what’s sure to be a bargain basement price.