According to Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue, the Cavs will obey the NBA’s new rest policy.
The rules, which went into effect last week, state that teams cannot rest players for high-profile, nationally televised games unless they are actually injured. It also states that “teams should not rest multiple healthy players for the same game or rest healthy players when playing on the road” unless there are “unusual circumstances.” NBA commissioner Adam Silver can fines teams at least $100,000 for violating the policy.
"That's a lot of money wherever you're at, $100,000," Lue said on Friday, per cleveland.com. "That's a big fine, but we're going to try and play by the rules. You know, we're going to try and rest at the right moments, and guys that get through it will try to get through it, but we're going to abide by the rules."
After there was some outrage at teams — including LeBron James and the Cavaliers — rested players for nationally televised games, the NBA made some significant changes to the schedule. The season now starts a week earlier, the number of back-to-backs have been cut and there are no more stretches of four games in five nights. The hope is that this will limit a team like the Cavs from resting their star players unless it is absolutely necessary to do so.
On a few occasions last year, the Cavs rested multiple healthy players on the same night. This year, they have a number of players — namely James, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Love and Isaiah Thomas once he returns from injury — who may benefit from a night off here or there. But with the new rules, and the possibility of a fine, the timing may be tricky to manage.
Per Vardon, Lue said the Cavs will not use a loophole — such as putting a player in for a minutes before pulling them out for the rest of the game — in order to rest players without violating league policy.