In 2018, the Los Angeles Lakers used the stretch provision to waive Luol Deng and spread the remaining $15 million owed to him over three seasons. That created short-term cap space that they could use in the 2019 offseason as they pursued superstar free agents, but it also left $5 million of dead money on their books for the 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons. The Lakers wanted that money off of their books altogether, so they applied for a career-ending injury exemption from the NBA in order to do so. The NBA has now rejected the application, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
That was always the expected outcome, as we explained in more depth at the time of the application. For an exemption to be granted, a team has to prove that the player in question suffered a career-ending injury while playing for