The Memphis Grizzlies picked up their sixth, yes, SIXTH trade exception this past week when they sent Tony Wroten to the Philadelphia 76ers for a second-round draft pick in 2014 and, wait for it, a trade exception.
Using trade exceptions can be a bit tricky, but luckily for us, the great Eric Pincus over at HoopsWorld has the complete breakdown of the Grizzlies' stock-piled TPEs, as they're known (Traded Player Exception), and all the pertinent information on how they work.
First, here are the six exceptions the Grizzlies own and the expiration dates on each TPE:
Wayne Ellington - $2,083,042 (1/22/14)
Josh Selby- $762,195 (1/22/14)
Rudy Gay - $7,489,453( 1/30/14)
Hamed Haddadi - $1,300,000 (1/30/14)
Donte Greene - $1,027,424 (8/15/14)
Tony Wroten Jr. - $1,160,040 (8/22/14)
Essentially, this allows for the Grizzlies to trade for a player within the exception's range, despite their cap situation. So, you can exceed the cap by x-amount of dollars in a trade and take on that player's salary without sending out a player of equal monetary value.
However, there is one caveat to note.
A TPE cannot be combined with other exceptions. The Memphis Grizzlies, who have collected a league-high six TPEs, cannot combine the Rudy Gay TPE of $7.5 million and the Hamed Haddadi TPE of $1.3 million together to bring in a player making up to $8.8 million.
He also notes that a TPE can be used in claiming a player off waivers.
So, yes, the Grizzlies do have the ability to be active in the trade market, mostly before February of next year, but that also doesn't mean they will be active. You have to consider taking on payroll, which we're not all that certain management will do, unless the deal puts them over the top. This does, however, give them a cushion in case a major injury happens.
Bask in those exceptions, because as of late-August, the Grizzlies are actually leading the league in something.