PBA board considering proposal to make top 3 rookie draft picks non-tradable

ByAllan Lim

The PBA Board of Governors is strongly considering a proposal to make the top 3 picks of the league’s annual Rookie Draft non-tradable.

A league insider bared that representatives of the 12 member teams are currently discussing the protection of the 1st up to the 3rd overall pick from switching hands during and after the draft proper.

“The board is already discussing that. There are some governors who are for it. Hopefully, something concrete comes out of it,” said an insider who refused to be named during an interview with Spin.ph.

Nothing official has been arrived at yet but the insider added that the board is looking at a two to three-year period wherein involved rookies cannot be traded.

The proposal stemmed from the controversial trade that sent KIA’s 1st pick, the top overall in the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft which turned out to be Fil-German Christian Standhardinger, to powerhouse San Miguel which was eventually approved by then-commissioner Chito Narvasa after minor revisions.

The questionable decision of Narvasa caused a rift amongst the Governors and eventually led to his dismissal.

The Standhardinger trade, however, wasn’t the only time that the top picks were traded before or during the draft day.

In 2010, Air21 Express traded the top 3 picks to the San Miguel Beermen.
In 2011, Barako Bull Energy traded the 3rd overall pick to the Petron Blaze Boosters.
In 2012, Barako Bull Energy traded the 1st and 3rd overall picks to the San Miguel Beermen.
In 2013, Air21 Express traded the 1st overall pick to Brgy. Ginebra San Miguel; Barako Bull Energy traded the 2nd overall pick to the San Mig Coffee Mixers and the 3rd overall pick to the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.
In 2014, Barako Bull Energy traded the 3rd overall pick to the San Miguel Beermen.
In 2015, Blackwater Elite traded the 1st overall pick to TNT; Mahindra Enforcer traded the 2nd overall pick to TNT.

In the past 8 seasons, it was only during the 2016 Rookie Draft wherein no trades were made during the 1st round. Not that teams weren’t interested, it’s just that they can’t. Since it was a special draft composed of Gilas Cadets, the board had an agreement that the national team members cannot be traded for a period of two years.

The agreement, however, was later on scrapped and it paved the way for several cadets to change places.


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