The league landscape shifted on Tuesday after Adrian Wojnarowski and Shams Charania announced breaking news that the NBA planned to overhaul their load management policy this season with fines over $1 million for violating rules about resting stars during nationally televised games and In-Season Tournament matchups. While fans are excited to kickstart the Victor Wembanyama era, they might be curious about how these impending changes impact the San Antonio Spurs.
The brand-new guidelines around load management are extensive. But another ESPN insider entered the conversation on Wednesday with a timely article detailing some of the more complex regulations going into place this season. Bobby Marks answered several burning questions about these updates to the rulebook, including whether or not the association will limit how often the Silver and Black can rest their Parisian phenom throughout his highly-anticipated rookie season.
According to Marks, the Spurs will have the freedom to load manage Wembanyama and anyone else on their roster as much as the front office sees fit since the punishment for sitting stars only applies to players who have made an All-Star or All-NBA team in the last three seasons. The 19-year-old is a household name in the basketball community, but that previously mentioned technicality could work in San Antonio's favor and help them ease their centerpiece into the league.
Opposing fanbases and national writers knocked Gregg Popovich and the organization for stashing seemingly healthy players on the sidelines and babying trivial injuries once the team tumbled to the bottom of the Western Conference standings after the All-Star Break. Regardless, there is no doubt that protecting promising prospects like Devin Vassell, Jeremy Sochan, and Keldon Johnson was in the best interest of the long-term outlook of their comprehensive rebuild.
The Spurs may face media and public scrutiny for sitting their core pieces out of marquee matchups this season. But this franchise understands that affording players proper time to recuperate mentally and physically can extend their careers tenfold. The league office inadvertently stacked the deck for San Antonio, and they should take full advantage of every loophole and minute detail that gives them a leg up on the competition. Playing their cards right could pay off in the long run.