Already considered as the deepest and most talented team in the league, the San Miguel Beermen are about to get stronger as the SMC flagship team is set to receive the top overall pick in the upcoming PBA Rookie Draft.
According to sources, the Beermen have apparently come to terms with KIA Picanto for the number 1 overall pick in the 2017 Rookie Draft in exchange for JayR Reyes, Rashawn McCarthy, Keith Agovida, a future first rounder and cash considerations.
Trade papers are already in the PBA Office and is still subject to the approval of Commissioner Chito Narvasa.
This is already the second time in three years that the KIA franchise has traded its top pick. In 2015, the team traded 2nd overall pick Troy Rosario to the TNT KaTropa in a deal which also included the NLEX Road Warriors. KIA received KG Canaleta and Aldrech Ramos in return but both players didn’t stay for long. Canaleta was ultimately dropped from the team while Ramos was traded to Star.
Fil-German Christian Standhardinger is the consensus top pick this year due to his strong showing for Gilas Pilipinas in the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup and the 2017 SEA Games. The 28-year old native of Munich, Germany won’t be available however for the 2017-18 Philippine Cup as he is under contract with Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions in the ASEAN Basketball League.
The KIA-SMB swap as expected came under fire from the PBA Board of Governors. Incoming vice chairman Dickie Bachmann of the Alaska Aces said that board will convene next week to discuss the status of KIA after the team released their top pick again.
“Are they here to compete or not?” said Bachmann in a telephone interview with InterAksyon.
Aside from Alaska, several other teams have reportedly expressed their concerns about the latest move of KIA.
“We’ve been hearing rumors about Kia trading its No. 1 pick to San Miguel. I didn’t believe the rumors until it was confirmed by Commissioner Narvasa yesterday afternoon that there was a trade offer on his table. This is really alarming. We’re raising this issue for the good of the PBA,” added Bachmann.