The Wizards got an interesting little side perk as part of their trade to acquire Bojan Bogdanovic from the Nets. Because the Nets were under the salary cap and took on more salary than they sent out, the Wizards picked up a trade exception worth $2.5 million. They can use the exception at any point between now and February 22, 2018, according to Basketball Insiders.
CBA FAQ has a full rundown of how trade exceptions work, but to sum things up, it works as a credit Washington can use to acquire a player in a trade or claim someone off waivers. It can’t be used to sign a player to a new contract. It also can’t be combined with other exceptions or players as part of a bigger deal. It can only be used to acquire someone making $2.5 million or less.
There aren’t many impact players out there that would fit in the Wizards’ trade exception. However, it could still be useful, particularly in the next week as players are bought out and waived so they can join contending teams. Terrence Jones, who was waived by the Pelicans on Thursday, would fit in the exception. Ty Lawson’s contract would also fit if the Kings choose to waive him.
If the Wizards don’t use the exception to claim someone off waivers this season, the exception could help them fill a roster spot this summer. It’s a way to fill a roster spot while they’re over the cap, but still get someone more useful than what they could get by signing someone to a minimum deal.
It’s also worth noting the Wizards don’t have to use the exception. They could just let it go unused and they would be no worse for the wear.
The good news is, the Wizards have more options on the table thanks to the salary they cleared in the trade. While it may not be the most important part of what the Wizards acquired, it can be a useful piece at some point in the next year.