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NBA reportedly cracking down on load management with massive fines in 2023-24 season

The NBA is set to reportedly announce new rules for the 2023-24 season that will heavily punish teams for load managing star players.

Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State Warriors Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

In a bit of a surprise move, the NBA looks set to announce some pretty severe punishments to curtail load management in the upcoming 2023-24 season. As reported by both Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN and Shams Charania of The Athletic on Monday, the league is instituting some large fines for teams that rest multiple stars next season.

A lot to unpack in that one as this has come almost entirely out of nowhere. While the league has long searched for ways to curtail load management, these punishments hadn’t been previously discussed.

For the Lakers, the only players that would fit that “star” description would be Anthony Davis and LeBron James. D’Angelo Russell is a previous All-Star, but that came in 2019 and outside of the currently proposed window. No other player on the roster has made an All-Star Game yet until Austin Reaves becomes the leading vote-getter this season.

What does this mean for the Lakers? Well, LeBron James and Anthony Davis aren’t both going to be resting in a game this season. At least not for load management reasons. The Lakers load managed Davis on the second nights of back-to-backs last year which paid off in the postseason. LeBron, though, has been against any sort of load management previously.

Practically, this means stars like LeBron and AD are going to be constantly listed on injury reports this season with some sort of “lingering” injury. That way, the players can be rested with the plausible deniability of it being for an injury they’re dealing with.

Teams are going to try to find ways around this, and the NBA is going to have to get super strict to combat this. It’s going to continue to be a push and pull with teams and the league about load management, but this doesn’t feel like some sort of nail in the coffin when it comes to stars resting. It’s just going to change the way teams do it.

You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.

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