The Los Angeles Lakers had to waive a player to create a spot for Dwight Howard on their 20-man training camp roster, and according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, it’s Aric Holman who’s getting let go:
Los Angles Lakers will waive forward Aric Holman — who’s on an Exhbit 10 contract — to make room for Dwight Howard, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) August 26, 2019
The Lakers waived Aric Holman to create a roster spot. Holman signed an Exhibit 10 contract and is still eligible to receive a $50K bonus if he spends 60-days with the South Bay Lakers in the D-League. https://t.co/uriSNpVutp— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) August 26, 2019
Holman — who is mostly a prospect by virtue of being a theoretical stretch big — only shot 27.3% from 3-point range during summer league, and given that he was likely to get cut and end up in South Bay anyway, this makes some sense as the roster move to free up a spot for Howard.
The Lakers’ roster now stands at the maximum of 20 spots once again entering training camp, but the team does still have a few avenues to create a spot should a player they like — **cough** Andre Iguodala **cough** — become available in the buyout market.
For one, the team could just waive Howard if things aren’t going to plan with his addition, as he is on a non-guaranteed deal as of right now and could be let go with no salary cap penalty. Alternately — and more likely — the Lakers would just apply for the Disabled Player Exception in the wake of Cousins’ injury, which according to Larry Coon’s CBA FAQ would allow them to sign a player “for 50% of the disabled player’s salary or the amount of the Non-Taxpayer Mid-Level exception, whichever is less.”
If the league opted to grant the Lakers such an exception, which they likely would because of the seriousness of Cousins’ injury essentially guaranteeing he’ll miss the whole year, the only downside to using that path would be that it would limit the Lakers to just half of Cousins’ salary of $3.5 million, which is less than the veteran’s minimum, and would thus only allow them to offer the minimum (they can’t offer less than the minimum).
The disadvantage of that vs. an open roster spot means that the Lakers couldn’t get into a bidding war for Iguodala, but given that the other teams competitive teams chasing him probably can’t either, that small complication may not matter.
All of that is a concern for another day, however. For now, the Lakers can stand pat with a roster that looks set for a return to playoff contention entering the season, with the possibility of true title contention if a few things go right. That’s great news for the team and its fans, and worries about how to add a player that may not get cut anyway can be pushed back until when and if Iguodala (or anyone else the front office likes) becomes available.