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Mitch Kupchak, Lakers considering disabled player exception

The Lakers' Jordan Hill shoots over the Sacramento Kings' Jason Thompson.
(Ezra Shaw / Getty Images)

Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak said the Lakers are considering applying for a disabled player exception for Jordan Hill.

Hill is expected to have surgery to fix a possible labral tear and remove “loose bodies” from the joint. Recovery is expected to take six months and Hill would miss the remainder of the season.

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The Lakers are eligible to apply for the exception, which would give the team an additional $1.78 million in spending power.

“We’ll look into it,” said Kupchak. “We have until Tuesday.”

A disabled player exception can be used to sign a free agent for up to one season. It can also be used to acquire a player (making up to $1.88 million) via trade, as long as that player will be a free agent this summer.

The deadline for a team to apply for a disabled player exception is Jan. 15. The injured player must be considered sidelined until at least June 15.

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If granted, the Lakers would have another tool to add to the roster, along with the $1.59 million remaining of their mid-level exception. The team also has three trade exceptions, the biggest of which is $1.42 million from the Luke Walton trade.

The Lakers have 14 players on their roster, one spot available should they look to sign a free agent. Given the team’s $100-million payroll ($130 million with luxury taxes), there’s no guarantee the Lakers will spend any more this season despite the team’s 15-21 start going into Sunday night’s battle against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.


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