On Monday, the Los Angeles Lakers were granted a disabled player exception because of the season-ending injury to Julius Randle. The exception is worth around $1.5 million and the Lakers can use it to sign a free agent or acquire someone in a trade.
They also were eligible to receive one for because of Steve Nash’s injury, but according to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Lakers plan to shop Nash’s expiring contract:
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.
An expiring contract worth that much money is a major trade chip, especially for a team like the Lakers which lacks young players with great potential that most teams look for when they trade.
If a trade does materialize, it will likely be closer to the trade deadline as teams who are out of playoff contention are looking to get rid of players they no longer need, and clear out cap space for the upcoming free agency period.
With the Lakers looking to maintain cap space themselves, any players they take back in a trade would likely be young players on expiring or partially guaranteed contracts that they could choose to keep or get rid of after the season, much like they did last year when they acquired Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks.[divide]
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