With John Wall out for the season as he rehabs from left heel surgery, the Washington Wizards have applied for the $8.6 million disabled player exception, NBC Sports Washington can confirm.
The Wizards will likely be granted the $8,641,000 exception, which can be used to sign, trade for or claim off waivers a player on the final year of his contract. The exception is awarded if an NBA-appointed doctor rules Wall is “substantially more likely than not” to be out through June 15. Wall underwent surgery Tuesday, and Washington said he’ll need six to eight months of recovery.
But it’s also unlikely the Wizards use the exception. They’re already over the luxury-tax line, so any additional player will count at a multiple of his actual salary. I doubt Ted Leonsis wants to sink more money into this crummy team.
That said, Washington (17-25) is still just three games and three teams out of playoff position. The disabled-player exception could make a significant difference in the Wizards’ playoff odds. At minimum, it’s a nice tool in case someone becomes available Washington deems worthy of splurging on.
I just doubt that happens.