Miami Heat receive $1.3 million disabled player exception for Justise Winslow’s injury

MIAMI — The Heat have earned some added financial flexibility.

The NBA granted Miami a $1.3 million disabled player exception for Justise Winslow’s season-ending injury, according to a source. The Heat applied for the exception after Winslow suffered a torn labrum in his right shoulder that required surgery earlier this month.

Miami Heat's Justise Winslow drives to the net past Toronto Raptors' Kyle Lowry during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 4, 2016, in Toronto. (Jon Blacker/The Canadian Press via AP)

Miami Heat’s Justise Winslow drives to the net past Toronto Raptors’ Kyle Lowry during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 4, 2016, in Toronto. (Jon Blacker/The Canadian Press via AP)

The disabled player exception is granted if an NBA-designated physician determines the injured player is “substantially more likely than not” to be unable to play through June 15. The exception is worth 50 percent of the disabled player’s salary, which in this case is $1.3 million of Winslow’s $2.6 million salary this season.

The disabled player exception can be used to sign a free agent on a salary up to $1.3 million for the rest of the season, to trade for a player in the final season of his contract worth $1.3 million or less, or to claim a player on waivers who is in the final season of his contract worth $1.3 million or less.

The exception expires March 10 and it can’t be combined with any other exception or cap space.

Although the exception gives the Heat some financial flexibility, they could end up not using it. With Miami’s roster maxed out, it would have to open up a roster spot to use the exception.

The Heat were granted an additional roster spot on top of the NBA’s standard 15-player limit under the NBA’s hardship rule. Miami used that open spot to sign forward Okaro White to a 10-day contract on Tuesday.

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