The NBA has fined the Timberwolves $25,000 for resting guard D'Angelo Russell in Sunday's game against Denver.
Russell missed the 128-116 loss for what the Wolves called "planned rest" and Russell has played in each of the team's last two games. But the league said Russell was a healthy player under league policy during that Nuggets game and fined the team for his absence.
Russell has dealt with a variety of injuries this season, and the Wolves sat him in order to preserve his health during a busy stretch of games and travel, they said in a statement.
"The Timberwolves accept the league's fine for resting D'Angelo Russell on the February 23 game versus Denver," the statement said. "While we respect the league's guidelines and standards, we are a player-centric organization that's focused on learning our players' bodies. 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."
The day prior at practice, coach Ryan Saunders indicated Russell, who has dealt with a variety of injuries this season to his shoulder, ankle and thigh, had some knee soreness, but when the Wolves released their injury report later that day, it said Russell was out because of the "planned rest."
Russell has said he is fine with the Wolves' plan to manage his workload.
“I trust what they do,” Russell said Monday in Dallas. “Performance team is great here. Performance team is running professional sports nowadays. They’re way more educated than I am in that aspect.”