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Minnesota Timberwolves fined $25K for resting healthy D'Angelo Russell

Former Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) has averaged 24.4 points and eight assists per game since joining the Minnesota Timberwolves earlier this month. File Photo by Nicole Sweet/UPI
Former Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell (1) has averaged 24.4 points and eight assists per game since joining the Minnesota Timberwolves earlier this month. File Photo by Nicole Sweet/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 27 (UPI) -- The Minnesota Timberwolves were fined $25,000 for violating the league's player resting policy, the NBA announced Thursday.

The violation occurred when the T-Wolves rested All-Star guard D'Angelo Russell, who was considered a healthy player under the policy, during Sunday's road game against the Denver Nuggets, according to the league's statement. It marked the first time the NBA has enforced its load-management rules that were put in place in 2017 and clarified in November.

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The league's resting policy restricts teams from sitting healthy players in "high-profile" nationally televised games. The rule also requires that teams rest players only when playing at home, unless there are special circumstances.

"The Minnesota Timberwolves accept the league's fine for resting D'Angelo Russell on the February 23 game versus Denver," the team said in a statement Thursday. "While we respect the league's guidelines and standards, we are a player-centric organization that's focused on learning and optimizing our players' bodies.

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"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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In November, the league fined the Los Angeles Clippers $50,000 for comments made by head coach Doc Rivers that were "inconsistent" with star forward Kawhi Leonard's health. The NBA then outlined new guidelines for reporting injuries in a Nov. 11 memo to teams.

Russell has averaged 23.7 points, 6.5 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game in 38 regular-season contests between the Golden State Warriors and Timberwolves this season.

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