What an emotional roller coaster that clip has to be for Blazers fans everywhere. One second you're elated to hear that the man himself has once again publicly stated that he isn't leaving the Blazers or demanding a trade. But then a second goes by and you hear the next part. The "......right now". That for sure sends a chill down your spine as a fan. We've seen Dame go from once declaring he'll never leave, that he doesn't care about the possibility of never winning a ring to "....right now". Life comes at you fast,. He didn't say he'd never leave, just that he's not leaving right now.
My question is, how long is "right now"? Is that right this second? Training camp? Until the start of the season? At the trade deadline? Remember, James Harden was still on the Rockets as the season began last year. What I think it Dame is talking about though is what my stance has been about this whole situation all summer. This offseason was about putting pressure on the front office to get their shit together and improve the roster. They didn't really do that, but I always felt that this was the prove it year that Dame was giving the team. Depending on how things go this season, it will probably determine Dame's future. If the Blazers are good and are contenders, he'll stay. If they stink or underachieve or Chauncey Billups ends up being a terrible hire, he'll demand his trade next summer. It's not like teams are going to shy away from trading for Dame at that point. He'll have 2+1 left on his current deal (48M player option in his age 34 season). If Ben Simmons is still on the Sixers next summer, they'll still be interested. I'm fairly certain Dame will have no problem fielding a market even if he waits a year.
The question becomes, should the Blazers risk it and turn down what might be better offers now, only to see Dame demand a trade anyway and then they are forced to accept 65 cents on the dollar next year? In an ever improving Western Conference, how much better can the Blazers get? They essentially struck out in free agency, but you could argue that with better health and the Clippers maybe regressing without Kawhi that they could maybe contend for the 4-5 spot. They'll have to now deal with the Warriors and a healthy Lakers team, as well as whatever improvements the Mavs make, so things don't exactly look great.
But for now? If I were a Blazers fan I would focus on the positive. Dame is staying.....for now. At the end of the day that's what matters since you can't predict the future. Something tells me even this video won't stop the inevitable Dame trade request rumors you know we'll get as we inch closer to training camp. Those seem to never die no matter what.