NBA teams will no longer be permitted to rest healthy star players during marquee matchups on national television. Well, not without a penalty at least.
The NBA is reportedly instituting a new resting policy for the 2020-21 season, prohibiting teams from resting healthy star players "for any high-profile, nationally-televised game," according to Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes.
Violation of the new policy will result in a minimum $100,000 fine to the team.
With high-profile players picking and choosing when they want to rest during the regular season to assure they're ready to go by the playoffs, the league has seen multiple prime-time matchups hindered by a lack of active star power.
Before Kawhi Leonard introduced "load management" as a reason to sit out of games, perennial contenders like the Tim Duncan Spurs, LeBron James Cavaliers and Steph Curry-Kevin Durant Warriors would routinely rest a significant portion of its best players with an eye on the postseason.
Teams can still do that, but now they'll have to be careful which games they decide on. The 2020-21 season will also begin roughly two months after the 2019-20 season concluded inside the Orlando bubble, presenting challenges for veteran players facing an unprecedented turnaround.