Remember a few months ago when Dame was "days away" from demanding a trade? When that didn't happen, remember when those same sources said he was ready to "give back money on his deal" in order to facilitate a trade even though that's in no way how NBA contracts work? Poor Blazers fans man. This never ending Dame trade drama pretty much filled their entire offseason despite Dame himself saying time and time again that none of that bullshit was true as much as Daryl Morey hoped it actually was.
Enter today. Now we have Dame hopping on IG to once again reiterate that he's not going anywhere......yet. With training camp just 20 days away, this has to be a welcomed sight for Blazers fans. This doesn't mean all the pressure is gone as they head into the season though. They still need to produce on the floor or we're going to be doing this dance next summer only I bet Dame would actually be open to leaving. It's a prove it year. In order for that to be a success, it's pretty important that everyone knows what Dame is thinking, and it's hard for him to make it any clearer that he's not going to demand a trade before the season starts. I'm happy for Blazers fans in that regard after all the bullshit they lived through these last few months.
So if Dame is off the board, the next question obviously is what the hell does Daryl Morey do with Ben Simmons. I get asking for the moon, I get waiting to pull the trigger until everything with Dame was sorted out, but now here we are. Dame is staying, Simmons' value is dropping, and we're getting reports like this
Does Morey put his pride aside and take 65 cents on the dollar just to be done with this whole mess? Does he risk Simmons sitting out which only hurts his value more? Then there's the option that he does nothing and Simmons plays, doesn't help his value and the chemistry in that locker room is a big time issue. At the same time, maybe the Blazers have a brutal first half of the year and Dame has a change of heart by the trade deadline. What a giant matzah ball of a situation this is. That little Oct 1st nugget is pretty interesting too. He's getting $16M well before the season even starts. Could we see him sit out past training camp and into the season and just pay the fine with the money the Sixers have already given him?
There are reports out there that the Cavs are still trying to make something happen. The Wolves are interested but don't want to give up their best players so I'm not sure how that even happens money wise, so it's not like Morey doesn't have options. They just obviously aren't what he wants otherwise we already would have seen a trade by now.
If I could best summarize this whole situation in a gif, it would probably be this one
No one wants to budge on either side. Other teams in the league are waiting to pounce on a young All Star talent at a discounted price. Out West though, the Blazers and their fans can exhale, at least for now. Their franchise guy who nobody wants to trade is committed to the city and the franchise. Whether it works out or not is anybody's guess.