The Phoenix Suns are one of the league’s most star studded teams, with a roster consisting of a number of All-Star players. A big three of Devin Booker, Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal will surely light up any opposing teams.
While the Suns and other superstar teams tend to run up healthy records during the regular season, teams will rest players to avoid injuries and stop fatigue setting in. Rest has become an issue over the past few seasons in the NBA, with some star players missing a hefty chunk of the regular season due to rest and “load management.”
A new rule proposed will result in the NBA cracking down on resting multiple superstars during games, with fines being issued to teams who do so.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the league would fine teams $100K for a first violation, $250K for a second violation and $1 million more than the previous penalty for each additional violation.
For further clarification, The Athetic’s Shams Charania chimed in on what the league would consider to be a “star” player in these circumstances:
"“Under current discussions among team and league personnel, a star is defined by someone who’s made an All-Star or All-NBA team in the past three seasons, sources said.”"
Based on that definition, the Suns’ big three would all fall under that category, meaning that they are majorly affected by the proposed rule changes. The Suns would be penalized for resting any combination of Durant, Booker or Beal at the same time or one of the stars during a nationally televised game.
This would require the Suns to be very intelligent with when they rest their players, especially Durant, who is 35-years-old later this month and has a very recent string of injuries that has resulted in him missing a number of games throughout the past few seasons.
While one of the easiest ways to combat potential injuries for Durant would be to rest the former MVP, the proposed rule changes would make this more difficult for the Suns to pull off. Phoenix would need to be strategic with what games they rest Durant in order to eliminate the chances of hefty fines but also minimize his likelihood of injury.
The Suns have 14 back-to-backs this upcoming season, with these games usually consisting of stars resting one of the two games to minimize the chances of injury or fatigue. Phoenix will need to be cautious with how they choose to rest their players during these games.
Phoenix also have the third most nationally televised games in the 2023-2024 season, only trailing the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors. With 37 nationally televised games, the Suns will be in the limelight for almost half the season.
With the proposed rules, the NBA may be strict on the Suns if they decide to try and rest their players during games. This means there will be less opportunities for Phoenix to try and let their players recover during the regular season.
The proposed rule changes will be voted on this week and should cut down the number of games missed by players due to rest and “load management.” While the proposed rules will result in the fans being given more of an opportunity to see their favorite players compete, the Suns and other superstar teams are no doubt going to be affected by the rule changes.