THURSDAY, 8:18am: Scott cast further doubt on the notion that Price would return, saying there’d probably be no need to bring him back for the handful of games that would remain on the schedule if he meets the front end of his recovery timetable, Turner notes in a full story.
WEDNESDAY, 1:41pm: Price will miss six to eight weeks, the team announced, as Mike Trudell of Lakers.com tweets. The regular season ends in seven weeks. Regardless, the Lakers will still be eligible to apply for an extra roster spot once Price misses three games.
TUESDAY, 3:03pm: Ronnie Price will miss the rest of the season after surgery to repair a bone spur in his right elbow, Lakers coach Byron Scott told reporters, including Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link). The surgery will take place Wednesday, the team announced (on Twitter). He’s the fourth player on the Lakers roster expected to miss the balance of 2014/15, joining Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Julius Randle. That means the Lakers, with a full 15-man roster, will be eligible to apply for a 16th roster spot via hardship once Price sits out the next three games.
The 31-year-old Price made the Lakers regular season roster on a non-guaranteed invitation to training camp and wound up starting 20 games, more than he’d started in any single season during his previous nine years in the NBA. The newfound playing time has allowed him to average career highs nearly across the board, and he’s been more efficient than usual during that time, posting a 10.2 PER, his first double-digit mark in that category since 2009/10. The injury won’t help the Mike Higgins client as he heads back into restricted free agency, but this season has done much more help than harm to his value.
The deadline to apply for a disabled player exception was more than a month ago, but the Lakers already have two of them, one worth $4,850,500 for Nash and the other worth $1,498,680 for Randle. Still, GM Mitch Kupchak and company haven’t shown an inclination to use those exceptions, which expire March 10th. The Lakers might not even bother with apply for the extra roster spot, given that they’d only have two days to sign someone into that slot if the league were to grant it, and since there’d be little consequence to simply waiving Price, whose salary became fully guaranteed earlier this season. The team let the chance to add a 16th player expire earlier this season.