After the departure of Kawhi Leonard, the Toronto Raptors have generally not taken part in the NBA’s growing load management trend. Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet were playing as much as any player in the league, with Siakam leading the NBA in minutes per game.
The league is trying to root out players like Leonard and others who choose to often take a seat on the bench for national TV games. The league’s new proposal, which will be voted on soon, would make it harder for players to sit out games of any importance.
According to the proposal, teams would be unable to rest multiple star players in the same game or rest any stars for nationally televised games. The language of the proposal defines a “star” as a player who made an All-Star or All-NBA team in the last three seasons.
While Siakam might be subjected to such restrictions, the fact that Toronto doesn’t have another All-Star to surround him with and isn’t going to be on ESPN very much this season means they might be able to load manage with ease, if that is what new coach Darko Rajakovic wants to do.
Toronto Raptors would benefit from load management proposals.
The Raptors are tied for the fewest nationally televised games in the league this season, meaning they will almost never be impacted by these rules this year. Big market teams and contenders who are on TV frequently will be impacted the worst by this.
Siakam himself may not be allowed to load manage at the end of the day, but Toronto only having one player who these rules could hurt is a much different scenario than teams like the Lakers and Warriors, who may need to perform serious roster gymnastics with multiple players being dinged.
The Raptors may need to be a bit more careful with how they manage Siakam and some of their stars this season, as they started to tail off at the end of the year due to the overuse Nick Nurse brought upon them. These rules make it harder, albeit only slightly, to do so.
This proposal appears to be targeted at a handful of players, which is usually the hallmark of a bad rule. However, the Raptors shouldn’t be sweating too much due to how little they will be impacted.