The Hawks will have to take some care this season when it comes to resting their stars for regular-season games. The NBA Board of Governors approved a new player-participation policy.
The new policy replaces the player-resting policy, which was implemented before the 2017-18 season and looks to prevent teams from resting their star players too often. In terms of the policy, the NBA defines stars as any player who, in any of the past three seasons, earned any All-NBA team honors or was selected for an NBA All-Star team.
Players named to the 2024 All-Star game will be affected by the new policy since the definition includes those who earned All-Star honors moving forward.
So, the Hawks and the other 29 teams have to provide an approved reason for a star player not to participate in a game. They also will have to:
- Manage the roster to ensure that no more than one star player is unavailable for the same game.
- Ensure that star players are available for all national television and NBA In-Season Tournament games.
- Maintain a balance between the number of one-game absences for a star player in home and road games.
- Refrain from any long-term “shutdowns” in which a star player stops playing games.
- If resting a healthy player, ensure that the player is present at the games and visible to fans.
Injuries, personal reasons and pre-approved back-to-back restrictions based on a player’s age, career workload or serious injury history are among the notable exceptions under the new policy.
Should teams fail to follow the new policy, the league could fine them more than $1 million for each infraction, according to ESPN.
Heading into the 2023-24 season, the Hawks have two players who currently meet the league’s star criteria. Guards Trae Young (2020, 2022) and Dejounte Murray (2022) have made appearances in the All-Star game within the past three seasons. Young also was named All-NBA third team in 2022.
Over the past three seasons, both Young and Murray have averaged roughly 70 games per year. Plus, with the Hawks looking to compete, the team has limited when it has rested its stars and veterans, with a notable exception coming in the final game of the regular season in April.
The Hawks tip off the regular season Oct. 25 on the road against the Hornets.