Los Angeles Lakers Get $1.5M Disabled Player Exception
After losing top rookie pick Julius Randle to a serious leg injury, the NBA has granted the Los Angeles Lakers’ request for a Disabled Player Exception (DPE).
Out For the Season
Sources told ESPN.com that the Lakers were granted the exception after the NBA determined that Randle is “substantially more likely to miss the remainder of the season.” Randle was the Lakers’ #7 overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft. He was their highest pick since James Worthy was #1 in 1982.
The 19-year old former University of Kentucky forward broke the tibia of his right leg midway through the fourth quarter of the Lakers’ 108-90 loss to the Houston Rockets on opening day. The injury happened when Randle was driving to the hoop against the Rockets’ Donatas Montejunas when his right foot “buckled” and he collapsed to the court. He underwent surgery the following day and was declared out for the rest of the season.
Using the Disabled Player Exception
With the DPE, the Lakers will be able to sign a free agent up to the Exception’s value of around $1.5M. NBA rules stipulate that the team can use the exception to sign a free agent to a maximum amount of 50% of the injured player’s annual salary. In the case of the Lakers, half of Randle’s rookie salary is equivalent to $1,498,680.00. The Lakers could also use the Exception to trade for a player with a salary of $1,598,000.00 since league rules allow an extra $100,000 in a trade. However, that trade should be for a player who is in the final year of his existing contract.
According to sources, the Lakers are not “in a rush to sign” anyone at this point in time, although they have to use the Exception by March 10, 2015 otherwise they will forfeit it.
The Lakers have struggled to a 1-6 start this season despite the return of superstar guard Kobe Bryant. Aside from Randle, the Lakers are also without point guard Steve Nash who has virtually retired from the NBA following the announcement that he will miss the 2015 season due to recurring back problems.
The Lakers have added the likes of Carlos Boozer and Jeremy Lin in the offseason to bolster their line-up for the 2015 season. The drafting of Randle was supposed to give them the added boost in a relatively weak frontcourt which was depleted after Pau Gasol left for Chicago. The Lakers are currently 25th in the league in total rebounds and are 18th in points in the paint and would benefit much from getting a DPE.
Sources are pointing to former Nuggets’ 2012 2nd round pick Quincy Miller who is currently without a team. The 6-10 forward averaged 4.5 points and 2.5 rebounds in two seasons with the Nuggets. The Lakers are reportedly “intrigued” by the skillset and promise of the 21-year old Baylor product.
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