The Lakers can offer plenty to anyone who gets bought out this season.
Shams Charania of The Athletic:
The Lakers have been granted a disabled player exception worth $1.75M from the NBA for the expected season-ending ACL injury to DeMarcus Cousins, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. It expires on March 10, 2020.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 19, 2019
The exception holds little value presently. It’s worth less than a full-season minimum salary for anyone with more than four years experience.
But minimum-salary and mid-level exceptions decline throughout the season. This exception does not.
So, on March 1, a team with only a minimum slot available can offer a free agent just between $233,459 and $666,546 (depending on the player’s experience level). The Lakers can offer $1.75 million.
This means an NBA-appointed doctor ruled Cousins is “substantially more likely than not” to be out through June 15. Given that prognosis, the Lakers could open a roster spot by waiving Cousins, who’s on a one-year deal and facing a domestic-violence charge. They’d still keep the exception.
If Cousins can return more quickly than expected, he’d be eligible to play, whether or not the Lakers use the exception.