It likely will not matter much, but the Thunder will apply anyway.
The Thunder are applying for a disabled player exception for No.2 pick Chet Holmgren, who is out for the season with a torn ligament in his foot. Shams Charania of The Athletic broke the news.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have applied to the NBA for a Disabled Player Exception worth $4.95 million due to the season-ending loss of Chet Holmgren, per sources.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 27, 2022
The Disabled Player Exception does not free up a roster spot for the Thunder, rather, it gives them a salary cap exception (half Holmgren’s salary) to bring in a player to replace Holmgren, since he will not suit up for OKC this season. Because the Thunder already have a full roster for the season, this is more of a “just in case” application, letting them sign or bring someone in via trade if they want around the deadline.
Holmgren will have surgery to repair ligaments supporting the Lisfranc joint in the middle of the foot (where the long bones of the toes meet the bones of the rest of the foot, in the arch area). Jeff Stotts of InStreetClothes.com described the area as the “lynchpin” of the foot, an area that is weight-bearing and helps stabilize the foot.
“Certainly, we are disappointed for Chet, especially given the excitement he had about getting on the floor with his teammates this season,” Thunder general manager Sam Presti said in a statement. “We know Chet has a long career ahead of him within our organization and the Oklahoma City community. One of the things that most impressed us during the process of selecting Chet was his determination and focus. We expect that same tenacity will carry him through this period of time as we work together and support him during his rehabilitation.”
Holmgren impressed at Summer League, showing off a deft shooting touch, handles, and defense around the rim. He also found a natural chemistry with Josh Giddey, giving Thunder fans real hope for the future — hope that will now be on pause for the season.