Report: Competition committee expected to regulate NBA stars resting

Sep 13, 2023, 10:53 AM | Updated: 10:54 am

Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers and Paul George #13 during the second quarter against the Bosto...

BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 29: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers and Paul George #13 during the second quarter against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on December 29, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

(Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

In recent years, NBA stars resting in games when healthy and available has been a growing point of contention. Fans in arenas around the association have paid hard-earned money to see these stars only to find out they are unavailable hours prior to tipoff.

Attempting to find a solution, the NBA competition committee presented rules and regulations regarding resting stars to the NBA Board of Governors, which was passed Wednesday morning, per ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Financial punishments are expected to be put into place for teams that elect to rest their NBA stars in various scenarios if they are determined as not injured by independent medical reviewers. An “NBA Star,” is defined as a player that has made an All-Star or All-NBA team in any of the last three seasons.

According to Wojnarowski’s reporting, a handful of situations would qualify for investigation. With nationally televised and the newly implemented In-Season Tournament games having higher priority, resting in any of those games is liable for punishment. Teams will also be punished for resting two or more stars on any given night throughout the regular season.

Holdouts are also mentioned as punishable in the reporting. Philadelphia 76ers’ star James Harden indicated he would hold out amid trade requests, and if he follows through, could face disciplinary action. Also listed is if a player is resting, they must be “present and visible to fans.”

Based on the aforementioned qualifications, here are the “NBA Stars” currently within the Pacific Division:

  • Sacramento Kings: De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis
  • Phoenix Suns: Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal
  • Los Angeles Clippers: Paul George and Kawhi Leonard
  • Golden State Warriors: Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Chris Paul
  • Los Angeles Lakers: LeBron James and Anthony Davis

From Sacramento’s perspective, they hardly rested players last season and were easily one of the most healthy teams in the association. Resting either Fox or Sabonis is not likely within Head Coach Mike Brown’s intentions, barring lingering injuries which would therefore not qualify as ‘resting’.

These new league guidelines could come into play in the final games of a season if the Kings were already locked into a specific seed. Simply playing one of their two NBA stars would allow them to dodge any fines.

Some of the Kings’ direct competition could be more impacted by these changes. Paul George (26) and Kawhi Leonard (30) missed a combined 56 games last season and while the injury report only listed “rest” a handful of times, introducing independent medical reviews will be an interesting wrinkle. Russell Westbrook does not qualify due to him not having made an All-Star or All-NBA team since the 2019-20 season.

The Kings are unlikely to be overly affected by these changes. The teams with three or more players who meet these qualifications, such as Golden State and Phoenix, could run into these concerns more often than others, but determining if it’s rest or rehab will likely be a complicated process.

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