Timberwolves fans need to come to grips with important new NBA rule

Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /
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Minnesota Timberwolves Timberwolves News Anthony Edwards Mike Conley Jr. NBA Rules Coach Chris Finch
Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /


So what exactly are the new NBA Player Participation Policy (PPP) rules, and which of the new rules should Timberwolves fans be most concerned about?  Let’s go over them and discuss them one by one:

Rule INo more than 1 star player is unavailable for the same game.

That’s going to be problematic for a team like the Minnesota Timberwolves, a team with four such players. In short, three players must play and only one player can rest is awkward, and clearly favors teams that have fewer than two stars on their rosters.

Rule IITeams must ensure that star players are available for national TV and in-season tournament games.

The Timberwolves get a minor break here. Because the Timberwolves only have five non-NBA-TV nationally televised games, and only 10 of 72 games televised nationally, this rule will be less applicable than some of the other rules.

Rule IIITeams must maintain a balance between the number of one-game absences for a star player in home games and road games – with a preference for those absences to happen in home games.

The rule will force the Timberwolves to manage multiple back-to-backs quite carefully, as it is now no longer a matter of which player to rest in a back-to-back, but ensuring that the distribution of resting stars impacts Target Center as much as other NBA teams.

Rule IV Teams must refrain from any long-term shutdown – or near shutdown – when a star player stops participating in games or plays in a materially reduced role in circumstances affecting the integrity of the game.

Thankfully, this rule should not impact the Timberwolves. When teams that are no longer in the running for the NBA Playoffs want to consider trade options after the season ends, it’s been common practice to overstate a medical condition to rest that player to close out an NBA season. This rule will now trigger an investigation, and risk strict fines if guilty.

Rule VTeams must ensure that healthy players resting for a game are present and visible to fans.

This is simply continuing the 2017 PRP rules.