After the Portland Trail Blazers tweeted a picture of Damian Lillard sitting with Terry Stotts watching Summer League practice Tuesday, Casey Holdahl added that both Jusuf Nurkic and CJ Mcollum were also in attendance:
It’s always good to see your leader and second-best player taking an active interest in the young guys. Dame and CJ don’t have to be there, and given the turmoil surrounding Ed Davis’ departure, this can be viewed as a good sign of continued team unity.
Perhaps the more important point is the attendance of Jusuf Nurkic. It’s hard to imagine that he isn’t at least a bit disappointed that the Blazers have not made him a lucrative offer so far this summer. He may also be frustrated with himself that he didn’t take the offer reportedly on the table last fall.
It’s easy to read too much into these kinds of things, but seeing Nurkic at Summer League practice when he doesn’t have to be there can’t be a bad thing. The logical conclusion is that Nurkic is at peace with the idea that he might be facing the prospect of settling for the qualifying offer if other teams do not come through with an offer sheet. Nurkic said at his exit interview that he wanted to stay in Portland, so this sighting could be taken as a small bit of evidence that this still might be true.