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Timberwolves fined $25,000 for violating NBA’s player resting policy with D’Angelo Russell

Timberwolves, D'Angelo Russell

The NBA has fined the Minnesota Timberwolves $25,000 for violating the league’s policy on resting players.

The Timberwolves sat D’Angelo Russell for a Feb. 23 loss to the Denver Nuggets, though Russell was allegedly fully healthy. The Timberwolves organization released a statement claiming they “chose to rest D’Angelo in order to learn his body better and to optimize his health during a difficult stretch of games and travel.”


The NBA implemented the policy prior to the 2017-18 season as a response to the “load management” craze. It states:

  • Teams are prohibited from resting healthy players for any high-profile, nationally televised game.
  • Absent unusual circumstances, a team should not rest multiple healthy players for the same game or rest healthy players when playing on the road.
  • In situations when teams decide to rest healthy players, the players should be visible and available to interact with fans.
  • Any team that violates this policy, or otherwise rests a healthy player in circumstances that are prejudicial or detrimental to the league, is subject to discipline by the NBA.

Last November, the league sent a memo clarifying its rules, and emphasized that “load management” is considered improper resting.

Russell was acquired by Minnesota at the trade deadline in a deal that sent Andrew Wiggins to the Golden State Warriors. Russell has averaged 24.4 points and eight assists in five games with the Wolves, but the team is just 1-4 when he’s suited up.

Minnesota (17-40) will head to Orlando to face the Magic on Friday.