Pistons put in for salary-cap relief in Leuer’s absence

Rod Beard
The Detroit News

The Pistons have been bitten by injuries all season, but might be getting some salary-cap relief.

Might be, we say.

They will seek a disabled-player exception for forward Jon Leuer, who has played just nine games this season after suffering an ankle injury on Oct. 31. The DPE is a provision that allows teams to get a break in their salary-cap numbers in the event of a catastrophic injury.

Leuer missed 34 games and was projected to be a major part of the Pistons’ rotation. Since the injury he has been limited to light shooting, but because of complications, he has had fluid injections in the ankle joint and is considering season-ending surgery.

The Pistons had to apply for the exception before Jan. 15 and will hear back once all of Leuer’s medical records are reviewed by independent doctors hired by the NBA. If the exception is granted, it could allow the Pistons to get about $5 million in salary-cap room.

The provision does not give them an open roster spot, so there’s only a small chance they could take advantage of the exception, if it’s even granted. For example, if the Pistons made a trade that opened a roster spot, they could take on an extra $5 million, because of the exception. The deadline to use the exception is March 15.

Van Gundy and general manager Jeff Bower have been looking at potential trades but nothing has come of it. The trade deadline is Feb. 8.