View Full Version : Salary cap exemption for some, conspiracy theory for others???

09-25-2009, 07:16 AM
Look, I'm not ignorant when it comes to NBA rules, but this one seems to have me confused. Can someone please educate me as to why Yao Ming's absence warrants a salary cap exemption, but if Matt Harpring were to miss the final season in his contract the Jazz would have to eat his salary?

This simple exemption is the difference between signing Trevor Ariza and signing Ronald Dupree. This is why I ask....

I mean, I'm sure there is a rule in the NBA doctrine, byline 15-A which indicates "any star player from a major market who is injured can suckle from the teat of the NBA while smaller markets can eat glass simulaneously."

I'd just like to know what the actual b&%$#@ reads............

09-25-2009, 07:51 AM
Hmmmmm, first I thought they used the MLE on him, but that wasn't the case...

I see where you're coming from, but maybe all teams with a disabled player and a contract that big get that oppurtunity, however because such an exception will probably only count if you're over the cap, not many will want to spend that much money.. esp small market teams...

09-25-2009, 08:09 AM
56. Do injured players count against the cap?

Injured players are included in team salary. The exception is for players who are forced to retire for medical reasons -- see question number 53 for details.

In certain cases, teams can gain an exception which allows them to exceed the cap to sign a replacement. See question number 19 for more information on the Disabled Player exception.


53. How do retired players count against the cap?

Any money paid to a player is included in team salary, even if the player has retired. For example, James Worthy retired in 1994, two years before his contract ended. He continued to receive his salary for the 1994-95 and 1995-96 seasons, so his salary was included in the Lakers' team salary in those seasons. It is at the team's discretion (or as the result of an agreement between the team and player) whether to continue to pay the player after he has retired.

There is one exception whereby a player can continue to receive his salary, but the salary is not included in the team's team salary. This is when a player is forced to retire for medical reasons and a league-appointed physician confirms that he is medically unfit to continue playing. There is a waiting period of one year following the injury or illness before a team can apply for this salary cap relief. If the waiting period expires mid-season (on any date prior to the last day of the regular season), then the player's entire salary for that season is removed from the team's team salary. For example, in March 2003 the Knicks were allowed to remove Luc Longley's entire 2002-03 salary from their books (and since the luxury tax is based on the team salary as of the last day of the regular season, the Knicks avoided paying any tax on Longley's salary). This provision can also be used when a player dies while under contract.

If the player "proves the doctors wrong" and resumes his career, then his salary is returned to his team's team salary when he plays in his 10th game in any one season (including pre-season, regular season and playoff games). This allows a player to attempt to resume his career without affecting his team unless his comeback is ultimately successful. A team loses this salary cap relief even if the player later signs and plays 10 games with a different team.

Teams are not allowed to trade for disabled players and then apply for this salary cap relief. Only the team for which the player was playing when he was disabled may request this relief.

If a player retires, even for medical reasons, his team does not receive a salary cap exception to acquire a replacement player.


19. Are there exceptions to the salary cap?

Yes. Teams are not allowed to be over the salary cap, unless they are using one of these exceptions:


DISABLED PLAYER EXCEPTION -- This exception allows a team which is over the cap to acquire a replacement for a disabled player who will be out for the remainder of that season (if the player is disabled between July 1 and November 30) or the following season (if the player is disabled after November 30). This exception can also be granted in the event of a player's death. This exception can only be used to acquire one player. The maximum salary for the replacement player is 50% of the injured player's salary, or the average salary, whichever is less (see question number 24 for the definition of "average salary"). Approval from the league (based on a determination by an NBA-designated physician) is required for this exception to be used. This exception can be used to sign a free agent, or to create room to accept a salary in trade. When used for trade, the team may acquire a player whose salary (including any trade bonus) is up to 100% of this exception plus $100,000 (not 125%). Also see question number 20 for more information on the availability and use of this exception.

If a player is disabled between July 1 and November 30, the team must acquire the replacement player within 45 days. If the player is disabled between December 1 and June 30, then the team has until October 1 to sign a replacement. If the disabled player comes back sooner than expected, then he may be activated immediately, and the replacement player is not affected. However, if the disabled player comes back before the exception is used, then the exception is lost.

Teams sometimes have had difficulty getting the NBA to approve an injury exception. For example, Danny Manning tore an ACL toward the end of the 1997-98 season, yet the NBA did not approve the Suns for this exception. More recently, the Magic did not receive this exception in 2003 for Grant Hill. However, this exception was granted in the 1999 offseason to San Antonio, so they could replace Sean Elliott, who was disabled due to kidney problems. This exception was also granted to Charlotte soon after Bobby Phills was killed.

Don't confuse this exception with the salary cap relief teams can apply for a year after losing a player to a career-ending injury or death (see question number 53). This exception allows a team to acquire a replacement player. The salary cap relief removes a contract from the books.NBA Salary Cap FAQ (http://members.cox.net/lmcoon/salarycap.htm)

09-25-2009, 08:23 AM
Is the replacement player one of any position?

If not, who was Houston's replacement?

Also in reading that rule it seems it is submitted to the league and remains at league discretion as to if the exemption is applied or not.

Further more, it seems as if it would prove a team more saavy if they addressed said player as disabled instead of retired due to injury. In which case, there would be different salary cap rules?

Super rediculous.

These stipulations are a means for circumventing the salary cap if you choose to be dishonest it seems.

I want to vomit, then ingest said vomit.

09-25-2009, 08:30 AM
Also, don't get me wrong, that was a very informative post. I appreciate that. I am fully aware that nothing will change and am not arguing at all. Just wish things were a little different and not so disheartening. A team has no control over a player retiring before their contract is up, just as a player has no control of an unexpected injury. In this case I feel neither party should be punished. Player gets their money, team gets exemption. This current state seems quite gakjbsjhbgedhgbfrgbfrfb njbfejbhjhbfjbjhbfhjbehrf.

(Within those random letters contains my frustration and 2-3 implied swear words. Really bad ones that I have said aloud. In fact, they all start with F. Words that follow: My Life.)

09-25-2009, 08:31 AM
I really don't know the answer, but if Ming's and Harpring's situations are actually very similar, I'm sure the league would at least try to treat both cases equitably if for no better reason than to avoid the grievance that would surely (and rightfully) be leveled at them by one team if their situation was handled unfairly.

09-25-2009, 10:18 AM
I think that the Utah Jazz could do this if they get approval. We know that the ownership is not happy about the bonus that Millsap got in the first year of his contract. The luxury tax starts at $69.92 million and currently have a payroll of about $84 million (so ownership is paying about $14 million extra to the league on top of the salaries they're paying to their players). Harpring would count as a player forced to retire. The Jazz would have to apply for a year and then get approval to get the salary off their team salary. By then, Harpring would've came off the books anyway. They could also try to get the injured player exception but it's highly unlikely that they'll get it. If they did though ownership would be really happy. They could pay someone minimum and save about $6 million in luxury tax payments.