Damian Lillard is threatening to sit out games if the NBA won't guarantee his Trailblazers a "true opportunity" for the playoffs in a return to play ... saying, "I'm not going to be participating."
"I'm telling you that right now," the superstar guard told Yahoo Sports in a phone interview Tuesday. "And you can put that [expletive] in there."
The NBA has been kicking around the idea of a shortened regular season for its comeback ... reportedly eyeing a possible plan of a few regular-season games followed by the playoffs.
But, Lillard says that just ain't going to fly with him ... because he says if Portland -- which is currently 3.5 games out of 8th place (and the final playoff spot) in the West -- doesn't get a fair shake to make the postseason, he's out.
"If we come back and they're just like, 'We're adding a few games to finish the regular season,'" Lillard says, "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."
Of course, the NBA has also reportedly thrown around the idea of beginning its playoffs immediately ... and telling all the non-playoff teams to stay home.
Lillard says he'd rather see some sort of play-in-style tournament for squads on the bubble ... saying that would get him back on the court in 2020 no problem.
"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," Lillard says.
The NBA has yet to set a date for its possible return to play ... although reports have indicated the league is in talks with Disney's resort in Orlando, Fla. to resume the final games of its season there this summer.