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David Aldridge

Pacers expected to apply for disabled player exception


Posted Aug 6, 2014 9:04 PM

The Indiana Pacers are expected to apply to the NBA for a disabled player exception in the wake of forward Paul George's gruesome broken leg, according to a league source.

Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Pacers can apply for the exception between now and next January 15. The NBA would then designate a physician who would examine George. If the physician determines George, as everyone currently believes, will not be able to play at any time in the 2014-15 season, the league would grant the exception to the Pacers.

Indiana could then either sign a free agent for one year at either 50 percent of George's salary for next season, or for the non-taxpayer midlevel exception amount, whichever is lower. In this case, with George on a max contract, the Pacers would get a $5.3 million exception to use on a free agent.

The Pacers could also trade for a player in the final year of his contract, with similar limitations. However, Indiana could acquire a player making up to $5.4 million next season under the CBA's rules. The Pacers could also claim a player off waivers in the final year of his deal at $5.4 million.

Indiana has been pushing to sign veteran free agent Shawn Marion, according to sources.

Whether the Pacers would use the full disabled exception is not clear. If they did, they would exceed the luxury tax threshold by about $3.7 million. Team president Larry Bird has said repeatedly that team owner Herb Simon does not want to pay tax next season.

George suffered an open tibia-fibula fracture during a USA Basketball scrimmage last Friday in Las Vegas. He underwent surgery on Saturday. The Pacers have given no timetable for his return.

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