The Los Angeles Lakers on Monday were granted a Disabled Player Exception by the NBA in the wake of the long-term leg injury suffered opening night by rookie forward Julius Randle, according to league sources.
Sources told ESPN.com that the Lakers were granted the exception, valued at $1.5 million, after it was determined that Randle is "substantially" more likely than not to miss the remainder of his first pro season.
League rules stipulate that the Lakers can use the exception to sign a free-agent replacement for Randle worth up to $1,498,680, which amounts to 50 percent of Randle's rookie salary.
The Lakers could also choose to use the exception to trade for a player making up to $1,598,680 because trades via such exceptions allow for an extra $100,000. In a trade, though, L.A. can only take on a player in the final year of his existing contract.
Early indications are that the Lakers not planning to rush out and make a signing this week, but such exceptions do come with an expiration date. The Lakers, sources say, have until March 10 this season to either use the DPE, as its known, or lose it.
With respect to injured guard Steve Nash, meanwhile, sources say that the Lakers are still evaluating their options..
As ESPN.com reported last month when Nash was ruled out for the 2014-15 season because of recurring nerve issues with his back, Lakers officials are planning to explore the trade market for potential deals between now and the February trade deadline with Nash's $9.7 million expiring contract.