NBA approves Lakers’ disabled players exception for Jordan Hill

The NBA granted the Lakers Wednesday a disabled players exception for Jordan Hill worth $1.78 million, according to a team official.

The Lakers can use this exception to sign a free agent for up to one season or acquire a player making up to $1.88 million through a trade. The Lakers don’t plan to use it considering they’re already devoting $100 million in player payroll and $30 million in luxury taxes. The Lakers would have until March 12 to use the exception.

Nonetheless, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak has said the team applied for the exception because it gives them added “flexibility.” Even though Hill is expected to stay sidelined for at least six months after having surgery to treat his injured left hip, Kupchak said he had no intentions of filling his roster spot because of Earl Clark’s emergence.

He has cracked double digits in points in eight of the last 12 games since earning a rotating spot after Pau Gasol sat out for five games because of a concussion. Clark soon took the starting power forward position even when Gasol returned to the lineup.

The Lakers applied for the exception on Jan. 15, but the NBA didn’t approve of it until today because it needed to look at the paperwork surrounding Hill’s surgery. The NBA grants the exception only if the injured player must be considered sidelined until at least June 15.

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at