Board re­views trade process

The Philippine Star - - SPORTS - By JOAQUIN HEN­SON

LOS AN­GE­LES – It ap­pears that the PBA Board of Gover­nors will re­visit the pro­ce­dure in ne­go­ti­at­ing and ap­prov­ing player trades in light of the con­tro­versy raised by the re­cent swap of Kia’s first round draft pick, which turned out to be Chris­tian Stand­hardinger, for three sel­dom-used San Miguel Beer veter­ans and a 2019 first round choice.

While the Board can­celled its plan­ning ses­sion that was orig­i­nally sched­uled here yes­ter­day be­cause four gover­nors begged off from tak­ing the trip, in­for­mal talks went on among the at­tend­ing eight gover­nors and mem­bers of the PBA man­age­ment com­mit­tee led by com­mis­sioner Chito Nar­vasa. A hot topic was how to ad­dress fu­ture trades and avoid the howl of protest that was trig­gered by the Stand­hardinger deal.

A sug­ges­tion was made to cre­ate a com­mit­tee on trades, made up of des­ig­nated gover­nors, that would be con­sulted by the com­mis­sioner be­fore ap­prov­ing or dis­ap­prov­ing a trans­ac­tion. If there is a dis­agree­ment, the trade would be el­e­vated to the Board for fi­nal ad­ju­di­ca­tion. An­other sug­ges­tion was to al­low free ex­changes with­out re­strict­ing di­rect trades be­tween sis­ter teams in the in­ter­est of trans­parency.

It is the PBA’s prac­tice to dis­al­low di­rect trades be­tween sis­ter teams so that con­duits or third par­ties are brought in to fi­nal­ize deals. But the in­volve­ment of con­duits is more of a con­ve­nience or ac­com­mo­da­tion, lead­ing to ques­tions of trans­parency. An­other sug­ges­tion is to adopt the so-called Stepien Rule of the NBA where a team is pro­hib­ited from trad­ing its first round picks in suc­ces­sive years. Ted Stepien was the for­mer Cleve­land Cava­liers owner who traded the team’s five con­sec­u­tive first round picks from 1982 to 1985, lead­ing to dis­as­trous re­sults.

The MVP Group con­trols three fran­chises, TNT, Mer­alco and NLEX while the San Miguel Corp. Group also owns three, San Miguel Beer, Barangay Gine­bra and Star. So the PBA has two sets of three sis­ter teams. The in­de­pen­dent fran­chises are Black­wa­ter, Kia, Glob­alPort, Rain Or Shine, Phoenix and Alaska.

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