The Lakers are preparing a request to the NBA for a disabled player exception for injured point guard Steve Nash, according to General Manager Mitch Kupchak.
Nash was recently ruled out for the season with chronic back issues.
If granted by the NBA, the Lakers would gain an exception for half of Nash’s $9.7-million salary.
The exception would enable the team to add a single player by March 10, either by signing a free agent ($4.85-million maximum), via trade ($4.95-million maximum incoming salary) or waiver claim ($4.85-million maximum salary).
Any player the Lakers might acquire with a disabled player exception must have a one-year deal. The exception would also expire if it remains unused and the Lakers trade Nash to another franchise.
Kupchak said he doesn’t expect the league to grant the exception for at least a couple of weeks.
With Nash out, the Lakers may look to add an additional point guard but former Minnesota Timberwolves guard J.J. Barea is not an option via waiver claim. Barea was cut by the Timberwolves on Monday, but the Lakers won’t have the disabled player exception in time to claim the veteran guard and his $4.5-million salary within the 48-hour waiver period.
Kupchak also noted that the Lakers are not looking to get Nash’s salary off the team’s salary cap via medical retirement.
The earliest Nash would come off the team’s books is April 8, with just week left in the season. Attaining a disabled player exception for Nash would preclude any salary cap relief via medical retirement.