TrueHoop's Henry Abbott reported on Tuesday that Damian Lillard would be willing to force a trade by sitting out games and foregoing paychecks if the Trail Blazers fail to build a title contender around him.
Ensconced with Team USA in Japan after watching the Milwaukee Bucks hoist the Larry O'Brien Trophy, Lillard has reportedly grown infatuated at the prospect of playing with a "super-athletic and mobile big man," a la Olympic teammate Bam Adebayo and Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.
All indications are that despite Lillard's mandate for change, or else, Portland is comfortable running it back with the same core roster next season. The Blazers obviously don't have a readily available pathway to acquiring the interior co-star Lillard reportedly covets, either.
But like Lillard has long insisted and reiterated two weeks ago while denying TrueHoop's report about an imminent trade request, though, any rumors about his future that don't come directly from the horse's mouth must be met with skepticism. And this latest one about him potentially going full James Harden, apparently, didn't originate with Lillard.
The facepalm says it all.
Lillard made perfectly clear that he's fed up with unsourced reports about his mindset, too.
Jusuf Nurkic reveled in Lillard refuting TrueHoop's initial report about a trade request. He called out Abbott directly on Twitter, questioning how a reporter could possibly glean a more reliable source into Lillard's thinking than himself.
Nurkic, assuring the public that his loyalty will always lie with "Babo," used Lillard refuting this latest intel from TrueHoop as another opportunity to go after Abbott on social media.
Nurkic said in late June that he wouldn't be interested in staying with the Blazers if Lillard forced his way out of Rip City.
We're at least a couple weeks away from reaching those depths. No matter Lillard's denials, though, every report about his potential departure adds fuel to the speculative fire.