How NBA’s New Rest Policies Impact Stephen Curry and the Warriors

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One team that will face significant impact from the NBA’s updated rest rules is none other than the Golden State Warriors. It’s not just the perpetually injured LA Clippers, creaky Los Angeles Lakers, or reigning champion Denver Nuggets who will feel the effects. The Warriors’ dynamic style of play heavily relies on their star players being well-rested and ready to perform at their best. With these new rules in place, it poses a unique challenge for them to navigate and maintain their competitive edge. Both the experienced Milwaukee Bucks and the talented Boston Celtics are not exceptions to this trend, neither are the up-and-coming Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Dubs, alongside the Minnesota Timberwolves, boast a significant number of players who are considered “stars” under the new player participation policy. It’s quite remarkable that Mike Conley has achieved this distinction. However, equally surprising is the fact that there is a veteran player from the Golden State team who does not meet the criteria for star status. Despite his impressive performances and contributions to the 73-win Golden State Warriors team, Klay Thompson has unfortunately not been recognized as an All-Star since 2019. Similarly, he hasn’t received an All-NBA Team selection in the past three seasons, which has prevented him from attaining the esteemed “star” label.

Entering his 11th season, Thompson’s injury history has been a cause for concern for the Warriors. However, they can now breathe a sigh of relief as there are several positive factors working in their favor. By making exceptions for age and experience, Steve Kerr and Mike Dunleavy Jr. will have a distinct advantage when it comes to managing rest during the demanding 82-game season. This advantage not only sets them apart from the Wolves, but also puts them in a more favorable position compared to teams like the Bucks and Cavs. Their bold rest strategy for the upcoming 2022-23 season is sure to pay off. There is no denying that the league’s updated player participation policy has attracted a lot of attention. However, it’s important to note that Golden State won’t be as negatively affected by it as some headlines and sports talkshows might suggest.

To better understand how the rest rules impact individual players on the Warriors, let’s first take a moment to review the proactive measures taken by Adam Silver and the league office. Their efforts have been aimed at encouraging consistent game participation and addressing concerns surrounding load management.

  • Teams are limited to resting one “star” per game

  • Teams must ensure “star” players are available for national TV games

  • Teams must maintain balance between “star” home and road rest games, with road availability preferred

  • Teams are prohibited from subjecting “star” players to long-term shutdown

  • Teams must ensure resting “star” players are present and available to fans at games

With the NBA’s new player rest policy set to take effect in the upcoming season, the Golden State Warriors’ star players will undoubtedly be impacted. As training camp approaches on October 2nd, fans and analysts alike are eager to see how this policy will shape their performance during the 2023-24 season. Rest assured, this policy aims to maintain the health and well-being of athletes while ensuring a fair and competitive environment for all teams involved. While there may be adjustments and considerations to make, we can expect the Warriors’ stars to rise to the occasion and continue delivering their trademark excellence on the court.

Stephen Curry

In most cases, we can expect Curry to take the court even when some of his key teammates like Draymond Green, Chris Paul, or Andrew Wiggins are given a break. With Golden State having 41 nationally televised games, Curry will likely be needed to play in the majority of those games. However, there is a possibility that the Warriors might manage his rest more strategically at Chase Center compared to when they are playing away games.Rest assured, in the event of an unfortunate injury catastrophe, his absence from the team will not be prolonged. This ensures that Golden State remains competitive throughout the entire season, regardless of any setbacks. With the health benefits that the team provides, it’s no surprise that you might spot Curry gracefully seated on the bench in casual attire when the Warriors feel he could use some additional rest and recovery off the court. The organization prioritizes his well-being to ensure he performs at his best whenever he returns to action.

Although Curry may be reaching the age of 35, it’s important to note that there are certain age exceptions in place for players in the NBA. This exception allows Golden State to strategically rest him in specific pre-approved games, ensuring he stays healthy and performs at his best. According to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, the league statutes require the Dubs to give the NBA a written notice at least one week before if they plan to rest Curry for a back-to-back game. This rule applies because Curry has played over 1,000 games in both regular season and playoffs, making him eligible for this exception.

It’s highly unlikely that Curry will take as many nights off in the upcoming season as he did last year. Despite being in their mid-to-late 30s, star players like him are not allowed to use the exception to sit out of back-to-back games that are nationally televised or occur during in-season tournaments. This means fans can expect to see Curry and other seasoned superstars giving their all on the court. The Warriors are smart to leverage his wealth of experience and take advantage of his advanced age. They prioritize Curry’s well-being by strategically giving him ample rest within the boundaries of the rules, ensuring that his body stays in optimal condition.

Klay Thompson

Once again, it is important to note that the new player participation policy does not specifically apply to Thompson. Despite his impressive career achievements, dedicated personal following, and undeniable reputation as one of the greatest shooters in history, it seems that these factors are being disregarded. However, it’s important to note that even though he may not be considered a “star” under this new directive, it doesn’t necessarily imply that the 33-year-old will be obligated to play unless he has encountered a fresh injury.

According to ESPN, the NBA’s new rest rules do make exceptions for “rare and unusual circumstances.” Now, the lingering discomfort that stems from Thompson’s unfortunate back-to-back ACL tear and Achilles rupture in the 2020 Finals and fall of 2021 does raise the question – could this be categorized as a “rare and unusual” circumstance? While the ultimate decision rests with the league office, it is evident that Golden State will make every effort to persuade officials whenever there is even the slightest hint of discomfort that Klay Thompson experiences in his left knee, right heel, or any other area of his lower body.

Draymond Green

At the age of only 33, Green has already amassed an impressive record of 915 games played over his remarkable 11-year career. He is just a few minutes shy of reaching the remarkable milestone of playing for a total of 34,000 minutes. In addition to his stellar track record, Green’s exceptional skills and performance earned him his fourth All-Star nomination in the year 2022. This recognition ensures that he will continue to be subject to the new rules governing player rest throughout the seasons of 2023-24. Experience the excitement of every game with our star players, Curry, Paul, and Wiggins. Rest assured that even when they take a well-deserved break, you won’t miss out on any action. Our carefully curated schedule ensures that these rare nights off occur primarily in San Francisco and coincide with non-televised games. So sit back, relax, and enjoy all the thrilling moments on ESPN/ABC or TNT when the Dubs are featured!

However, it’s worth noting that Green will reach the combined games exception in the upcoming season, which is an important milestone for a player who will be 34 years old in March. With three fully-guaranteed seasons left on his contract, this achievement becomes even more significant. Despite reaching this milestone, it seems that Green won’t be able to enjoy much, if any, additional rest and relaxation during the 2023-24 season.

Andrew Wiggins

Wiggins, who gained recognition through his K-pop fueled All-Star appearance in 2022, finds himself in a rather distant fourth place within the Warriors’ rest pecking order. This ranking is not only influenced by his age but also by his injury history. Ahead of him are established stars such as Paul, Curry, and Green.

Despite facing various challenges such as injuries, illnesses, and personal matters that kept him from the court for a significant portion of last season, Wiggins had proven himself as a durable player in the league. Prior to his setbacks, he rarely missed games except for scheduled rest periods after being traded to Golden State in February 2020.In the first four seasons of his career, the 28-year-old athlete displayed remarkable consistency, participating in all but one game. However, during the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons with the Dubs, he faced a series of unfortunate circumstances that resulted in him being absent for a total of 20 games. It is important to note that despite this setback, he has proven himself to be an incredibly dedicated player throughout his career. Wiggins exemplifies his dedication by demonstrating the ability to push through physical discomfort when necessary. In a critical Game 6 of the second round last spring, despite battling a broken rib, he fearlessly stepped up as James’ primary defender for the Warriors who were facing elimination. His resilience and commitment to his team’s success are truly commendable.

The Warriors are considering strategically planning some rest games for Wiggins this season. This would not only ensure his well-being and longevity, but also optimize his performance when he is on the court. With their impressive health histories and the seasoned experience of players like Paul, Curry, and Green, it’s worth considering the possibility of Wiggins playing every game in the 2023-24 season. This is especially significant given the demanding physical role he assumes when Golden State adopts their small lineup strategy.

Chris Paul

Paul, a 2022 All-Star and one of the league’s most experienced players, meets every criterion set by the player participation policy, just like Curry. He joins the likes of LeBron James and P.J. Tucker as one of the league’s seasoned veterans.In the upcoming 2023-24 season, the decision has been made to limit the playing time of the talented Point God. With the guidance of head trainer Rick Celebrini, the Warriors are taking precautions to preserve his physical well-being during the regular season. This strategic move aims to keep Paul as fresh as possible for the postseason, regardless of whether he starts or comes off the bench. By prioritizing his long-term performance, they are ensuring that he will be in prime condition when it matters most.

Rest assured, Golden State is well aware of every possible opportunity to strategically limit Paul’s playing time throughout the season. They are determined to maximize their advantage and ensure his availability for crucial games. Since 2020, he has unfortunately faced consistent health issues during the playoffs, particularly being plagued by frustrating hamstring injuries. These injuries have occurred while he was putting his all into competing for championships with teams like the LA Clippers and when the Houston Rockets came close to toppling the formidable Warriors in the thrilling 2018 Western Conference Finals. It’s clear that his determination to succeed has often been hindered by these unforeseen setbacks. There’s no doubt that when it comes to the Golden State Warriors’ priority rest list, Paul confidently takes the top spot. With his excellent performance and consistent health, he can comfortably afford more time off than even Curry, not to mention Green and Wiggins.

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