NBA passes new rest rule, will have minimal impact on Nuggets for silly reason

Sep 13, 2023, 1:54 PM

Head coach Michael Malone of the Denver Nuggets...

Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The NBA has spent a big chunk of the offseason brainstorming ways to curtail the league’s problem with teams resting players—better known as load management.

On Wednesday, the league’s Board of Governors approved a new Player Participation Policy that will be in effect for the coming season. And it comes in the wake of the new collective bargaining agreement containing minimum game requirements for the league’s top trophies. The newest rule change however will have very little impact on the defending champion Denver Nuggets.

The tougher resting policy rules and punishments only apply to star players who sit out games—including those on national TV and in-season tournaments —as well as multiple All-Stars sitting out together for regular-season games, according to ESPN. All of this gives the league office more room to punish teams for sitting players who are healthy—curtailing situations like Joel Embiid dodging the Nuggets last season and perhaps putting the 76ers in that instance on the hook for a $1 million fine.

ESPN says 25 teams and 50 players (nearly 11% of the league) are impacted by the new rules—fifteen teams have multiple players who were named All-NBA or to the All-Star Game in the previous three seasons but that list of players could potentially change after the 2024 NBA All-Star Game.

That means for now the Nuggets are not impacted by the new rules since there’s only one player on their roster that fits that bill—Nikola Jokic.

Since Jamal Murray, nor Aaron Gordon are “star players,” Michael Malone can give anyone a rest whenever he wants.

Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics would not be allowed to rest both Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum in the same game unless they are both injured, and the league’s medical review proves that.

What does impact the Nuggets—or at least just Jokic is that teams must ensure that stars are playing in national TV games, which Denver has a ton of this coming season.

So maybe it’s a good thing for the Nuggets that Murray and Gordon haven’t gotten the honors they probably deserve, Denver should be well-rested again headed into the playoffs—a huge advantage for them last year and something likely needed after this summer’s run.



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