BOSTON — Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni has and will not publicly advocate for the front office to make a roster change.
But with it remaining uncertain when Pau Gasol will return from a torn plantar fascia of his right foot, D’Antoni said he will meet with Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak fairly soon about the team’s personnel.
“We’ll get together in Miami probably and we’ll see how it goes,” D’Antoni said.
The Lakers play the Heat Sunday and are scheduled to practice in Miami on Saturday.
One of the first items of business could involve determining whether the Lakers would use the disabled players exception the NBA granted because of Jordan Hill’s season-ending left hip injury. Kupchak has publicly said he didn’t plan on using it because of Earl Clark’s emergence.
But the Lakers will find out sometime today how long Gasol will remain sidelined after he receives an examination from a team doctor and foot specialist.
“You hate it for him. he’s been playing really well,” D’Antoni said. “I don’t know how long he will be out. But it’s significant time. We dug ourselves in a hole and we’ll have to dig ourselves out without him. It’s not the best scenario. But it can be done. We’re going to do it.”
The Lakers can use the disabled players exception to sign a free agent for up to one season or acquire a player making up to $1.88 million through a trade. So don’t expect an firework acquisitions out of this. But from a pure numbers standpoint, it might be necessary for the Lakers to make a move with the exception.
The Lakers have also indicated they don’t plan on making any moves before the Feb. 21 trade deadline because it would add to the instability surrounding this season because of a coaching change, new roles and overlapping injuries. The Lakers also have a $100 million payroll and are paying an additional $30 million in luxury taxes.
Can D'Antoni convince Mitch to trade Dwight? I doubt it. Dude is probably gonna ask to trade Pau.