The Lakers have been granted a disabled player exception by the NBA for the 2019/20 season as a result of the injury suffered by DeMarcus Cousins, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium. L.A. will have until March 10 to use the exception.
As we’ve noted previously, if a player is seriously injured, his team can request a disabled player exception to replace him. In order for the exception to be granted, an NBA-designated physician must determine that the player is “substantially more likely than not” to be sidelined through at least June 15.
[RELATED: DeMarcus Cousins suffers torn left ACL]
When it was reported that the Lakers were applying for the DPE, it was still unclear how long the big man would be out as a result of the torn ACL he suffered in August. Based on the latest news from Charania, it seems more than likely that Cousins will indeed miss the entire 2019/20 season, though regardless of the DPE approval he’d still be allowed to return if he can.
A disabled player exception allows a team to add a replacement player for 50% of the injured player’s salary, or for the amount of the non-taxpayer’s mid-level exception, whichever is lesser.
Cousins’ $3.5MM salary creates a DPE worth $1.75MM, which could be beneficial to the Lakers later in the season, should they find themselves competing to sign a player with a team who can only offer a minimum-salary deal.