NBA

NBA awards tracker: Updated list of stars ineligible for MVP, All-NBA honors due to 65-game rule

The 2023-24 NBA season is the first year of new rules regarding player eligibility for end-of-season awards.

Per the new Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NBA and its Players’ Association, a player must be on the floor for at least 20 minutes in 65 games to be eligible for All-NBA, MVP and other honors. In the case of an injury that is deemed “season-ending,” a player must play in 62 games.

As the regular season winds down, several players are approaching the cutoff point and, in turn, losing their eligibility for end-of-season honors.

While reigning MVP Joel Embiid was one of the first to lose eligibility due to multiple knee injuries, he is now joined by Cavaliers All-Star Donovan Mitchell, Knicks All-Star Julius Randle and Celtics star Kristaps Porzingis, each of whom will play fewer than 65 games this season.

Who else could be impacted by these new rules? Here is a list tracking games missed by notable star players.

MORE: The key stats you need to know in Defensive Player of the Year debate

NBA awards tracker: Updated list of stars ineligible for MVP, All-NBA honors

Embiid is among a list of five notable players who will play fewer than 65 games this season. With the new 65-game rule, a player can miss no more than 18 games unless a season-ending injury causes them to miss 20 games.

Players who are already ineligible for end-of-season awards are listed in bold. Trae Young, who is out until the end of March after hand surgery, and Karl-Anthony Towns, who had surgery to repair a torn meniscus, could become ineligible by season’s end.

Player Games missed
Zach LaVine 40
Ja Morant 31
Joel Embiid 30
Bradley Beal 29
Evan Mobley 28
Darius Garland 24
Kyrie Irving 22
Khris Middleton 22
O.G. Anunoby 22
Jimmy Butler 18
Donovan Mitchell 18
Kristaps Porzingis 18
Julius Randle 18
Jamal Murray 16
Devin Booker 13
Tyrese Haliburton 13
Trae Young 13
Zion Williamson 11
Bam Adebayo 10
LeBron James 9
Luka Doncic 8
Kevin Durant 7
Kawhi Leonard 6
Paul George 6
Jrue Holiday 6
Brandon Ingram 6
Karl-Anthony Towns 5

Ineligible players listed in bold.

What is the NBA’s 65-game rule?

NBA players have to appear in at least 65 games and be on the court for at least 20 minutes in those games to be eligible for Most Valuable Player, Defensive Player of the Year, Most Improved Player, All-NBA and All-Defense.

The 65-game rule does not apply to Rookie of the Year, Sixth Man of the Year and All-Rookie.

As The Athletic detailed before the season, there are protections against season-ending injuries (62 games), near misses in minutes (two games of at least 15 minutes) and bad-faith circumstances. There are also procedures in place for players to attempt to regain their eligibility, per ESPN’s Tim Bontemps and Bobby Marks, though the pathway to achieving it is said to be “a narrow one.”

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