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Players the Wizards could potentially acquire if they get a Disabled Player Exception

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In the wake of the news that Martell Webster is having hip surgery that will likely cost him the rest of the season, you may have heard the Wizards are going to pursue a Disabled Player Exception (DPE) which they could use to add a player to the roster. How does the DPE work? CBA FAQ explains:

If this exception is granted, the team can acquire one player via free agent signing, trade or waiver claim, to replace the disabled player:

The team may sign a free agent for one season only, for 50% of the disabled player's salary or the amount of the Non-Taxpayer Mid-Level exception, whichever is less.

The team may trade for a player in the last season of his contract only (including any option years), who is making no more than 50% plus $100,000 of the disabled player's salary, or the amount of the Non-Taxpayer Mid-Level exception plus $100,000, whichever is less.

The team may claim a player on waivers who is in the last season of his contract only (including any option years), who is making no more than 50% of the disabled player's salary, or the amount of the Non-Taxpayer Mid-Level exception, whichever is less.

Teams can apply for this exception from July 1 through January 15, and cannot apply after January 15. Once granted, the exception expires when a player is acquired, when the disabled player is traded or returns to the team, or on March 10 of that season, whichever comes first. This exception is granted on a season-by-season basis -- if the player will also be out the following season, the team needs to apply for this exception again the following season.

In this instance, 50 percent of Webster's salary, plus $100,000 would be the lesser of the two amounts. According to HoopsHype, Webster is making $5,713,500. That means if the Wizards get the exception, they could use the exception to sign someone for a salary of up to $2,856,750 or acquire someone with a salary of up to $2,956,750 through a trade or claim waiver.

With that in mind, let's take a look at some players the Wizards could acquire if the NBA grants them the exception.

Free agents

This time of year, it's tricky to find players because most players who aren't in the NBA are already locked up with teams overseas. Of the players that are left, the Wizards have their choice of players who are at the tail end of their careers and too proud to go overseas for a cash grab -- guys Carlos Boozer, Samuel Dalembert, Reggie Evans, Jason Maxiell, Chuck Hayes, etc -- who would provide some nice name recognition, but wouldn't really solve the Wizards frontcourt issues. Or, as Ben Mehic of Wiz of Awes suggests, the Wizards could go after wing players such as Chris Douglas-Roberts or Austin Daye to fill the void.

The alternative is to scour the D-League for players who could fit the Wizards needs. As of this writing, here are the 10 prospects, according to the league's Prospect Watch:

  1. Jeff Ayres
  2. Perry Jones III
  3. Manny Harris
  4. Elliott Williams
  5. Bryce Cotton
  6. Jarell Eddie
  7. Earl Clark
  8. Toure' Murry
  9. Lorenzo Brown
  10. Ronnie Brewer

Realistically, the player that jumps out the most here is Murry, who played four games with the Wizards last season and was on the team's Summer League and Training Camp rosters. The Wizards could plug him right in at Webster's spot on the wing to help improve the team's depth. While he may not be a sexy name, he's the safest bet to get the spot if they get the exception. Cartier Martin is also in the D-League at the moment, and he has prior experience with the Wizards. If Washington is looking at another candidate who has previous experience with John Wall, he would fit the billing.

Of course, the Wizards are also just one serious injury away from a major depth problem with their frontcourt, so you can't rule out Ayres or Clark here if something were to happen to one of the team's big men.

Trade Targets

The list of available free agents isn't encouraging, but it shouldn't be. Remember, there's a reason they're not in the NBA right now. The only way the Wizards can get someone who is currently playing at a NBA level is to make a trade. DPEs work just like any other exception in a trade, so the Wizards could swap their exception for anyone in the NBA that's in the final year of their deal and making less than $2,956,750 this season. NOTE: Players who are entering restricted free agency this summer still have a qualifying offer attached to them, so they're not eligible to be traded for a DPE.

To make a deal work, the Wizards need to find a team willing to deal a player in exchange for immediate cap relief, or throw in a future draft pick to sweeten the deal.

For the sake of resolving all future internet debates, here is the list of every player in the NBA we could find who fits this criteria:

  • Luis Scola
  • Kirk Hinrich
  • Kevin Seraphin
  • Leandro Barbosa
  • James Johnson
  • Aaron Brooks
  • Beno Udrih
  • Steve Blake
  • Kent Bazemore
  • Ryan Kelly
  • Lou Amundson
  • Richard Jefferson
  • James Jones
  • Charlie Villanueva
  • Jason Terry
  • Metta World Peace
  • Amare Stoudemire
  • Andre Miller
  • Tayshaun Prince
  • Kendrick Perkins
  • Ronnie Price
  • Matt Bonner
  • Rasual Butler
  • Pablo Prigioni
  • Gerald Green
  • Solomon Hill
  • Sasha Vujacic
  • Matthew Dellavedova
  • Brandon Rush
  • Luc Mbah a Moute
  • PJ Hairston
  • Boban Marjanovic
  • Tyler Hansbrough
  • Marcus Thornton
  • Chris Copeland
  • Ish Smith
  • Donald Sloan
  • E'Twaun Moore
  • Robert Sacre
  • Jared Cunningham
  • Chris Johnson
  • Hassan Whiteside - Let me stop you right there: Not gonna happen.
  • Troy Daniels
  • Ian Clark
  • Allen Crabbe
  • Ray McCallum
  • Jeff Withey
  • Phil Pressey
  • Spencer Dinwiddie
  • James Michael McAdoo
  • Tarik Black
  • Jordan Clarkson - Again, don't let this thought grow in your mind. It will not happen under any circumstance. Thank you.
  • Tyler Johnson
  • Cleanthony Early
  • Cory Jefferson
  • Tim Frazier
  • Elijah Millsap
  • Eric Moreland
  • Kostas Papanikolaou
  • Aaron Harrison
  • Willie Reed
  • Luis Montero

Signing someone appears to be the more likely of the two paths for the Wizards if they get a DPE, because the players available for a trade aren't all that intriguing and the Wizards wouldn't have to give up anything of value to sign them. That said, weird things can happen around the trade deadline as teams try to shuffle pieces around to make trades. Unless another injury forces the Wizards hand, they're probably best served waiting out the trade deadline and/or the buyout market to see what candidates emerge.