Lakers Rumors: Disabled Player Exception Granted After DeMarcus Cousins Injury

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorSeptember 19, 2019

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 13: DeMarcus Cousins #0 of the Golden State Warriors goes to the basket against the Toronto Raptors during Game Six of the NBA Finals on June 13, 2019 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images)
Chris Elise/Getty Images

The NBA has granted the Los Angeles Lakers a $1.75 million disabled player exception after newly signed center DeMarcus Cousins suffered a torn ACL that is expected to sideline him for the 2019-20 season, according to Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic.

The Lakers have until March 10 to use the exception before it expires, per Charania.

Larry Coon explained the logistics of the DPE in his salary-cap FAQ, noting that the exception "allows a team which is over the cap to replace a disabled player who will be out for the remainder of that season. ...

"If this exception is granted, the team can acquire one player via free agent signing, trade or waiver claim, to replace the disabled player."

The Lakers (and every other NBA team) are currently above the NBA's salary cap of $109.14 million for 2019-20, per HoopsHype, making them eligible for the disabled player exception.

The Lakers have reinforcements in Cousins' absence.

JaVale McGee returns to the team after averaging a career-high 12.0 points and 7.5 boards per game. Los Angeles also signed ex-Washington Wizards center Dwight Howard after the Cousins injury: The 33-year-old posted 12.8 points and 9.2 rebounds during an injury-shortened campaign that lasted nine games.

Los Angeles could also ask six-time All-Star power forward Anthony Davis to provide some minutes at the 5. The former New Orleans Pelican, who came to Los Angeles in an offseason trade, averaged 25.9 points and 12.0 rebounds last season.

As for Cousins, an arrest warrant has been issued for the ex-Kentucky star on a third-degree harassing communications charge, per ESPN's findings on the Mobile, Alabama, municipal court website from Aug. 29. Per TMZ Sports, ex-girlfriend Christy West said in a police report that Cousins told her "I'm gonna make sure I put a bullet in your f--king head."

Cousins, who recently returned from a ruptured Achilles that sidelined him for a calendar year, averaged 16.3 points and 8.2 boards in 30 games for the Golden State Warriors last season before signing with Los Angeles.

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