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TPE gives Utah Jazz some trading wiggle room

Published: Thursday, July 8 2010 11:54 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz lost a two-time All-Star, but they managed to wrangle somewhere in the range of a $13 million Traded Player Exception out of their sign-and-deal trade that shipped Carlos Boozer to the Chicago Bulls.

On the surface, it sounds like some sweet salvage for the Jazz, who also gave up a future protected second-round pick in the transaction.

But what's that really mean?

Collective bargaining agreement guru Larry Coon explains the exception as being "the primary means used by teams over the cap for completing trades" on his website.

Per the CBA, a Traded Player Exception (TPE) allows NBA teams to acquire one or more players via trade with any other team even if the acquisition leaves them over the NBA's salary cap ($58.044 million next year).

The caveats: The team only has one year to use the exception, and the incoming salary (or salaries) cannot exceed the total amount the traded-away player makes in his first season plus $100,000.

Without a player exception, teams over the cap must match swapped players' salaries within 25 percent to pull off a trade.

For the Jazz, this means they can receive one or more players in the next calendar year in a trade as long as the incoming salaries don't exceed Boozer's 2010-11 salary plus $100,000. In exchange, their trading partner would receive the exception.

TPEs can also be used at the time of the trade. In these simultaneous cases a team may acquire salaries up to 125 percent plus $100,000 of the traded-away player.

Exceptions don't always pan out.

Denver is a glaring example of allowing two large TPEs to go for naught. The Nuggets didn't use the $10 million exception received for sending Marcus Camby to the Los Angeles Clippers, or the $7.4 million TPE for dealing Allen Iverson to Detroit.

The exception Orlando acquired when it traded Hedo Turkoglu to Toronto also expired this week.

This latest acquisition does give Utah more trading options because the Jazz now have multiple player exceptions. They received a $6.5 million TPE for sending Matt Harpring to Oklahoma City and picked up another $2.7 million exception in the Ronnie Brewer deal with Memphis.

Keep in mind, teams cannot aggregate exceptions but may acquire multiple players with fitting salaries in one TPE.

Contributing: Tim Buckley

e-mail: jody@desnews.com

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