For Brooklyn to use the full exception and pay the ensuring luxury-tax bill, it would cost the Nets approximately an additional $20 million on top of the $180 million-plus in roster salary and taxes they're already paying this season.
The Nets have until March 10 to use the exception through a free-agent signing or a trade. The Nets have a full roster of 15 players, so they would need to clear a roster spot to make use of the exception.
The exception became possible after Lopez broke his right foot on Dec. 20, necessitating season-ending surgery. Lopez played only five games in the 2011-12 season after breaking the fifth metatarsal bone in his right foot twice. Doctors repositioned the bone in his right foot in this surgery and hope that can provide better stability and staying power in the future.
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