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Could the NBA’s New Load Management Rule Push the Blazers to Trade Damian Lillard Before Training Camp?

The NBA has taken steps to address concerns regarding the misuse of load management in the league by introducing and approving a new rule.

This rule, aimed at ensuring the fair availability of star players throughout the season, comes with several key provisions:

  •  No more than one star player can be unavailable for the same game.
  • Teams must prioritize the availability of star players for national TV and in-season tournament games.
  • Teams must balance the number of one-game absences for star players in home and away games, with a preference for these absences occurring during home games.
  • Teams must avoid extended shutdowns or significant reductions in a star player’s role that could affect the integrity of the game.

Effectively, this rule places limitations on how much teams can rest star players during the season, impacting 25 teams in the league.

The Portland Trail Blazers are among the teams affected, raising questions about the future of Damian Lillard and whether this rule could expedite a trade before training camp or before the season commences.

With the uncertainty surrounding Lillard’s situation and the possibility of him remaining on the roster into the season, one thing is clear: if he isn’t traded before the season begins, he will be expected to participate.

The Blazers won’t have the option to ask Lillard to stay on the sidelines until a trade materializes, as they would incur substantial fines for doing so.

Considering this new rule, there’s a growing likelihood that the Blazers may be more motivated to complete a trade involving Lillard before the start of the season.

The clock is ticking, and a decision regarding Lillard’s future in Portland is imminent, but the outcome remains uncertain, leaving fans and analysts speculating about what might transpire in the coming weeks.

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