of The Oregonian writes
The Trail Blazers have finally received a dose of good news surrounding their injury-depleted roster.
The NBA has awarded the Blazers a hardship exception, giving them the option of signing a 16th player to the roster for a short-term basis. Teams are eligible for the exception after four players on a roster miss at least three games and are expected to miss two additional weeks.
Coincidentally (or not?), former Blazer Shavlik Randolph just cleared waivers
this morning and is officially a free agent.
(7:12PM): A detail or two to add after speaking with Tom Penn
this afternoon. First, Penn said that both the Blazers management and coaching staff will be a part of the decision whether or not to use the exception and, if they do use it, the coaches will be part of the decision-making process on which player it is used on. Penn wouldn't elaborate on any specific needs that the team was looking to address but did say the team has a short list of players already in mind in case the organization does decide to use the exception.
Second, if used, the exception would be a pro-rated minimum contract based on the number of days between the contract's signing date and the end of the season. The player signed would be paid in full for the year at the minimum salary that his experience level dictates regardless of whether he must be cut to make room for healthy players coming back.
Here's a full and accurate account of how this might play out financially from Storyteller
If the player signed this week, he would be paid roughly 69% of a full year's salary if the contract is pro-rated.
A rookie making the minimum ($457,588) plays for 69% of the season and his salary is pro-rated. The team pays him $315,736 and the league reimburses nothing to the team.
A veteran with 2 years of service making the minimum ($825,497) plays for 69% of the season and his salary is pro-rated. The team pays him $569,593 and the league reimburses nothing to the team.
A veteran with 4 years of service making the minimum ($884,881) plays for 69% of the season and his salary is pro-rated. The team pays him $610,568 and the league reimburses nothing to the team.
A veteran with 10 years of service making the minimum ($1,306,455) plays for 69% of the season and his salary is pro-rated. The team pays him $901,454 and the league reimburses $75,957 back to the team, which is the difference between what the player earned and $825,497.
So, the league only makes a reimbursement to the team when the amount earned (pro-rated or not) exceeds $825,497. It doesn't do a reimbursement on a straight percentage of a pro-rated contract.
Considering that, barring another injury, a player signed using this exception would likely be a one-month rental until either Jeff Pendergraph, Rudy Fernandez or Patty Mills returns, that cost is a definite issue. Is it worth, say, half a million dollars to have an extra body for the next month? It probably is, especially if you're the Blazers coaching staff. But the money issue is there.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter