News: In an interview with Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports on Tuesday, Lillard said that if the NBA resumes regular season play, he will not participate in games unless the Trail Blazers have an opportunity to qualify for the playoffs. "If we come back and they're just like, 'We're adding a few games to finish the regular season,' and they're throwing us out there for meaningless games and we don't have a true opportunity to get into the playoffs, I'm going to be with my team because I'm a part of the team. But I'm not going to be participating. I'm telling you that right now. And you can put that in there," Lillard told Haynes.
Impact: At the time the season was suspended on Mar. 11, the Blazers were in the thick of the race for the eighth seed in the Western Conference, sitting 3.5 games behind the Grizzlies. With Jusuf Nurkic (leg) and Zach Collins (shoulder) expected to return in the near future, Portland may have had an opportunity to close the gap. But as the future of the 2019-20 season hangs in the balance, it's still unclear if the league will opt to jump directly to the playoffs with the current top eight teams in each conference, or give teams like Portland a chance to qualify. Lillard noted that he would play if the league chose to employ a "play-in" style tournament, which has been rumored as a possibility,but is far from a guarantee. "If we come back and I don't have an opportunity to make the playoffs, I will show up to work, I'll be at practice and I'll be with my team. I'm going to do all that and then I'm going to be sitting right on that bench during the games," Lillard said. "If they come back and say it's something like a tournament, play-in style, between the No. 7 and No. 12 seeds, if we're playing for playoff spots, then I think that's perfect."