Lakers use balance of 'room exception' on Xavier Henry

Lakers use balance of 'room exception' on Xavier Henry
Xavier Henry smiles during a game against the Clippers on Oct. 29. (Danny Moloshok / Associated Press)

For the first time since 1996, the Lakers this summer went under the salary cap, using their spending power to acquire Jeremy Lin in trade from the Houston Rockets and sign Nick Young to a four-year, $21.3-million contract.

Once the team climbed back over the cap ($63.1 million for the 2014-15 season), they gained a $2.732 million "room exception," of which $1.65 million went to re-sign power forward Ryan Kelly -- leaving a remainder of $1.082 million.

On Friday, the Lakers re-signed Xavier Henry on what was originally believed to be a one-year deal at a minimum salary of $980,431.

Instead, Henry received an additional $101,569 -- the $1.082-million sliver available from the Lakers' room exception.

With both the exception and the team's cap room spent, the Lakers can only dole out minimum salaries to sign additional free agents.

The Lakers have 12 players under contract and are expected to sign rookie guard Jordan Clarkson (46th) at a salary starting at the rookie minimum of $507,336.

Assuming they do, the Lakers will have 13 players with a team salary of $67.9 million, about $9 million under the NBA's $76.8-million luxury tax threshold.

The Lakers can add up to 20 players for training camp but the regular season roster limit is 15. Two additional signings at the minimum won't bring the Lakers close to the tax line.

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