Reiterating the need for PBA Draft protection after the Barako Bull - San Mig trade
Last month, the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings traded away two guys who came off their bench, John Wilson and KG Canaleta, for Air21’s 2012 first round draft pick.
Back then, I suggested that the PBA implement some kind of protection for Air21 to promote league parity. If Air21 continues to be the cellar-dwellers in the upcoming season, not only will they miss the chance to get the best player in the 2013 PBA Draft, their pick will go to Ginebra, strengthening what is already a powerhouse team.
This is of course assuming Air21 continues to struggle, which may or may not happen.
Just a few days ago, San Mig Coffee traded away their starting point guard Josh Urbiztondo to get Barako Bull’s 2013 first round pick along with veteran Wesley Gonzales. Again, this trade seems fair on paper. But if Barako Bull ends up in the cellar, which is again, by no means a sure thing, it will give an already stacked San Mig team an opportunity to draft someone like Greg Slaughter, Ian Sangalang, or Ronald Pascual, maybe even RR Garcia or Ray-ray Parks, should they opt to forgo their remaining UAAP eligibility.
My suggestion is rather simple and it does not involve the trades that already have happened - starting this season, teams that finish in the bottom three can only trade their first round picks if these are Top 3 protected.
Let me use Air21 and Barako Bull as examples. If the draft protection was in place last year, then these two teams would still keep their picks should they finish in the bottom three. In this scenario, Ginebra and San Mig will instead get their picks in the 2014 draft.
However, if Air21 and Barako Bull finished outside the cellar, this means that the trade worked in their favor. Ginebra and San Mig would then take the draft picks of Air21 and Barako Bull in 2013.
Commissioner Chito Salud said in Wednesday’s press conference that they will continue working to achieve league parity.
“We are getting there, but we are not there yet,” he admitted.
Draft protection is something the Commissioner’s Office could employ to tilt the balance to favor the weaker teams and give them a shot at getting better. - AMD, GMA News