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Damian Lillard ‘100% Positive’ Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins Will Play If Season Resumes

Lillard talked about the possibility of his teammates coming back on the Jalen and Jacoby Show.

Portland Trail Blazers Open Scrimmage Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard believes that Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins will be ready to join the team if the 2019-20 season resumes play. Lillard told Jalen Rose and David Jacoby he is “100% positive” that Portland’s big men would play if the season restarts:

Jacoby: Do you expect those two to be available if you do head into a bubble environment?

Lillard: I’m 100% positive they will [be available]. Right before all of this happened, I know Nurk was coming back the following week. And Zach was maybe a month, month and a half out — so we was like, even if we get him back, it’ll be end of the season, last couple games. And we passed that point by a long shot now, so I feel like we’ll definitely have both of those guys back.

Lillard then went on to discuss how Portland could be suited to make a run in a “more even playing field”:

We’ll be a completely healthy team minus Rodney Hood ... Every team is coming back off the two-month hiatus, so it’s a more even playing field than it ever has been. And we’re coming back a more deep team, a more well put together team: two great centers, two great power forwards. We coming back deep and strong. And all that matters is winning.

Nurkic was set to make his season debut on March 15 after fracturing his left tibia and fibula in March of 2019, however the NBA suspended its season on March 12 due to the rise of the coronavirus pandemic. Collins was progressing in his rehab from left shoulder surgery before play was suspended.

The league continues to work on plans to restart the season while the virus continues to spread in the U.S. and abroad.

You can view Lillard’s entire interview with Jalen and Jacoby here, or below: