NBA Teams Can Be Fined at Least $100K for Resting Healthy Players

by September 29, 2017

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver now has the authority to fine teams at least $100,000 for sitting out their players during “high-profile, nationally televised” games.

Silver says he realizes that there may be “legitimate reasons for sitting down players at certain periods of time”:

A formal policy on resting healthy players was approved. Beginning this season, teams are prohibited from doing that on “high-profile, nationally televised” games, with violations subject to a fine of at least $100,000. Teams are advised not to rest multiple healthy players from the same game or to rest healthy players from road games. And when a player is given a game off, he should be visible and available to interact with fans. Discipline is possible for all of the above situations, though Silver said his preference would be to avoid that as much as possible. “I recognize that there are legitimate reasons for sitting down players at certain periods of time,” the commissioner said. “It comes down to a sense of obligation our teams have toward the league that they’re a part of.”

The League also tweaked its draft lottery system in an effort to disincentivize teams from tanking.


Under a new weighting system approved by the owners to take effect in 2019, the teams with the three worst records each will have a 14 percent chance of landing the No. 1 pick. Currently, there is an advantage to being the league’s most inept (or clever) bottom feeder – a 25 percent shot at that top pick. The odds for teams with the second- and third-worst finishers have been 19.9 percent and 15.6 percent respectively.


“There was a perception in many of our communities that the best path to rebuilding their teams was to race to the bottom,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said. “It became currency in this league.”


So much so, Silver said, that even some teams that didn’t want to embrace the bad-leads-to-good strategy felt pressure from fans to go that route.


“To trade away otherwise very serviceable players and embark on a strategy that requires them to, in essence, field poor teams,” he said. “I felt it was corrosive to this league.”