An NBA-appointed doctor even determined Thompson is “substantially more likely than not” to be out through July 17 (adjusted from June 15 with the league’s altered calendar).
Shams Charania of The Athletic:
The Golden State Warriors have been granted a Disabled Player Exception worth $9.3 million due to the season-ending loss of Klay Thompson, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. It expires on April 19.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 26, 2020
Because Thompson’s salary is more than double the non-taxpayer mid-level exception, the disabled-player exception is worth $9,258,000. Golden State can use it to sign a player for one season, trade for a player in the final year of his contract or claim off waivers a player in the final year of his contract.
Thompson’s injury is so severe, the Warriors were always getting this exception. The only question was: When?
At this stage, there are probably no available free agents worth anywhere near $9,258,000. But the offseason isn’t necessarily close to settled. James Harden, Russell Westbrook and John Wall have reportedly requested trades. Obviously, those high-priced players won’t fit into the disabled-player exception. But a big trade could put mid-tier players into play.
More likely, Golden State will take this exception into the season. It could be useful for a pre-deadline trade or post-buyout signing.
Even more likely, the exception goes mostly unused. The Warriors would still have to pay salary and luxury tax for adding a player, and though they’ve shown a willingness to spend, odds are against the right player becoming available and worth the cost.