Lakers Reportedly Filing Hardship Exception to Allow 16-Player Roster

Citing the deluge of injuries across their roster, the Los Angeles Lakers have filed for a hardship exception to receive a 16th roster spot.    

Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times reported the news Tuesday:

NBA rosters are typically capped at 15 players. Under certain circumstances, the league may permit the temporary addition of a 16th player. The Lakers are currently dealing with injuries to Kobe Bryant, Nick Young, Julius Randle, Steve Nash and Ronnie Price, leaving them with a maximum of 10 healthy players for Tuesday night's game against Charlotte.

That leaves open the possibility of the Lakers again finding themselves shorthanded should a player foul out or in-game injuries occur. Last season the Lakers were down to four eligible players in a February victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Under league rules, five players must be on the floor at all times, so the most recent player who fouled out was allowed back on the floor to finish out the game. Teams are penalized with a technical foul for each subsequent infraction a player commits after being disqualified.

Adding a 16th player would help the Lakers avoid such situations in the future. As Pincus noted, it's unclear whether the team would sign a player for the remainder of the season or merely add a veteran on a 10-day contract.  

No timetable was given for the NBA's decision, though it'll likely come at some point this week.


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