NBA fines Timberwolves $25,000 for resting D’Angelo Russell

The Minnesota Timberwolves were fined $25,000 by the NBA on Thursday for resting guard D'Angelo Russell during a game against the Denver Nuggets.  

Russell was held out of the team's 128-116 loss to the Nuggets on Sunday, which was televised on NBA TV, for a planned rest day.

But in a statement released Thursday, the league said Russell was a "healthy player" under its player resting policy, which was created in part to reduce player absences from nationally televised games.

"The Timberwolves accept the league's fine for resting D'Angelo Russell on the February 23 game versus Denver," Minnesota said in a statement. "While we respect the league's guidelines and standards, we are a player-centric organization that's focused on learning our players' bodies. As a new player in our program, we chose to rest D'Angelo in order to learn his body better and to optimize his health during a difficult stretch of games and travel."

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Timberwolves guard D'Angelo Russell has averaged 23.7 points this season. (Photo: Jasen Vinlove, USA TODAY Sports)

According to ESPN, it's the first time the NBA has fined a team under these rules implemented in 2017 and clarified in a league memo in November that considers load management rest.

On Monday, Russell, who was traded from the Golden State Warriors to Minnesota in early February, was asked by reporters about his thoughts on Minnesota's utilization of planned rest days. 

“I trust what they do,” Russell told The Star Tribune. “Performance team is great here. Performance team is running professional sports nowadays. They’re way more educated than I am in that aspect.”

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