The Oklahoma City Thunder has been granted a disabled player exception by the NBA, allowing the team to acquire a replacement player for injured guard Eric Maynor, The Oklahoman has learned.
Maynor was lost for the season after tearing his ACL on Jan. 7. The Thunder can now use the exception, which is half of Maynor’s 2011-12 salary, or $758,340, to sign one replacement player. The money from the exception, plus $100,000, can also be used to create room to accept a salary in a trade.
ESPN.com first reported the exception, which expires March 12, the league-mandated 45-day window in which it must be used.
It is unclear whether the Thunder will use the exception. Oklahoma City drafted Boston College guard Reggie Jackson with the 24th overall pick in last year’s draft and is now integrating him into the second unit as starting guard Russell Westbrook’s backup. The team also has veteran Royal Ivey who can help in a pinch as the third point guard.
It appears likely, though, that the Thunder will continue to groom Jackson as the backup rather than sign another veteran that could possibly stunt his growth. Jackson, who has averaged 3.4 points and 1.3 assists in 11.7 minutes over 13 games, has shown flashes of heady play that suggests he may settle into the role as the season goes on.