Report: Cavs Apply for Disabled Player Exception in Wake of Dylan Windler Injury

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In the wake of Cleveland Cavaliers rookie Dylan Windler’s season-ending injury, a new report indicates that the team is petitioning the NBA for a disabled player exception.

Windler was unable to take the court this season prior to the Cavaliers’ decision and missed the team’s entire training camp. The original diagnosis of his leg injury was that he would miss from four to six weeks, but a setback in Windler’s rehabilitation changed the recovery time.

Luke Adams of offered a definition of the rule, which the Cavaliers had to apply for by Wednesday, according to league rules.

“If a player is seriously injured, his team can apply for the disabled player exception to replace him,” Adams wrote. “In order for the exception to be granted, an NBA-designated physician must determine that the player is ‘substantially more likely than not’ to be sidelined through at least June 15 of that league year. If granted, the disabled player exception allows a club to sign a replacement player for 50% of the injured player’s salary, or for the amount of the non-taxpayer’s mid-level exception, whichever is lesser.”

Given Windler’s rookie salary, the Cavaliers won’t gain a great deal of financial maneuverability. However, it does offer the team a potential benefit from what’s been a frustrating situation.

Windler was drafted by the Cavaliers as the 26th player overall in last June’s draft. Cavs head coach John Beilein expressed excitement during the offseason about Windler’s potential as a NBA shooting guard, which was stilled after the rookie’s injury.

Spending four years at Belmont University, Windler was especially deadly from beyond the arc. He connected on 100-of-233 attempts from long range, a success rate of 40.6 percent.

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Brad Sullivan is a lead writer for Cavaliers Nation. He has spent much of life in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and has remained a Cavalier fan from their 1970 beginnings through the return of LeBron James. While that fandom was sorely tested during the Reign of Error known simply by one word, Stepien, that overall historical perspective will be part of his writing for Cavaliers Nation in the months ahead.