Report: NBA commissioner may soon have power to fine teams for resting players

The NBA may soon have new rules for the draft lottery. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported Friday that the competition committee has sent the reform proposal through to the Board of Governors, who will vote on the issue at the end of September. 

Much of the focus of that report is on the lowered chances for the worst team to get the No. 1 overall pick, but there is another fairly big rule being proposed as well. That is: NBA commissioner Adam Silver would have the power to fine teams for resting players. Via ESPN:

The competition committee also recommended a plan to the board of governors to curb the resting of healthy players in the regular season, league sources told ESPN. The proposed guidelines for resting players will encourage teams to sit healthy players for home over away games, and discourage the practice during nationally televised games.

In the proposed resting legislation, Silver will have the discretionary ability to fine teams for resting players in several instances, including sitting multiple players outside of unusual circumstances in a single game, and healthy players in nationally televised ESPN, ABC and TNT games, league sources said.

When teams decide to rest players in games, they're encouraged to do so for home instead of away games. Also, star players sitting out games are expected to be on the bench during games and encouraged to be accessible to fans for interaction prior to the game, sources said.

The league's hope here as it relates to draft lottery reform is obvious: It would like to see less teams trying to lose outright to get a better chance at the No. 1 pick, especially in years with strong draft classes. For example, last season the Phoenix Suns sat Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight, and Tyson Chandler for the final month-plus of the regular season in an effort to lose more games and improve their lottery chances. 

But should this proposal pass, it will take time to see if the changes actually accomplish what they intend to, or if teams are still willing to bottom out in the hopes of getting an elite player.

NBA Writer

Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

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