Celtics Awarded Disabled Player Exception; Can Spend Outside The Cap

The Boston Celtics suffered a couple of big injury blows before the season even started in Danilo Gallinari and Robert Williams. The NBA has now granted them a little bit of 'free money' outside of the salary cap, with a "disabled player exception."

As reported by NBA Insider Shams Charania, the Celtics have been granted a $3.23M Disabled Player Exception for the loss of Danilo Gallinari, who is out the whole season after suffering a torn ACL in the summer. It's essentially a ruling by the league that Gallinari is most likely not to be able to return until after June 15th. There is a March 10th deadline for the Celtics to use the DPE.

Boston signed Gallinari earlier in the offseason for 2-years, $13M. The DPE is worth 50% of the injured player's salary (AAV of $6.5M). It isn't considered tax "relief"; that is, Gallinari's full $6.5M still counts against their cap for the year. The team isn't required to use the exception, it's just an added option for them to give them some salary relief if they need to sign someone.

The DPE can only be used to acquire one player on an expiring contract without options. In addition, the deal can only be for this season. 

In the meantime, Sam Hauser has stepped up to claim some of those Gallo minutes. He's playing 13 minutes per game for the Celts and hitting on a remarkable 54.8% of his three-point attempts, averaging 6.4 points per contest. 

“Sam is lights out,” Jaylen Brown said. “You can’t leave him. We’re looking for him. Once he hit a couple, we’re looking for him, and Sam is always ready. He works hard, and he’s developing a nice role for himself in this league.”

Photo: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports