After a 15-day waiting period, the NBA has successfully granted the Lakers a ‘disabled player exception‘ for injured reserve Jordan Hill.
Hill injured his left hip on January 6th in the Lakers’ loss to the Denver Nuggets. Hill then underwent successful, season-ending hip surgery on January 23rd to remove loose bone fragments and repair a torn labrum and damaged cartilage.
Hill is now officially out for a minimum of 6 months. As a result of his long-term injury, the league has finally awarded the Lakers a disabled player exception.
The exception can be used to sign a free agent for about $1.78 million, or in a trade to acquire a player making up to $1.88 million in the final year of his contract.
According to the LA Times’ Eric Pincus, General Manager Mitch Kupchak acknowledged that the team may or may not use the exception, but that it could be used to help lubricate a larger trade.
Along with the disabled player exception, the Lakers still have three separate trade exceptions worth $1.4 million, $1.2 million and $544k. The $1.4 million trade exception, acquired in last season’s deadline acquisition of Ramon Sessions, is set to expire at this year’s trade deadline, however.
With the February 21st NBA trade deadline fast approaching, these exceptions could be useful in making a complicated transaction work under the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement.
The disabled player exception could be used to add a free agent for the rest of the season, but it looks more likely that the Lakers would only use it to help facilitate a trade.