11 June 2013

Implications of 'Aguilar to Ginebra' Trade

Japeth Aguilar
A few days after being swept by the Alaska Aces in an embarrassing fashion (104-80) to claim the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner's Cup championship before an all-time record crowd of 23,436 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, Ginebra fans were itching for some heads to roll and changes to take place.

Well, there were no heads rolling yet, but there are reports that a trade is in the works that will bring Globalport's center, Japeth Aguilar, into their fold and beef up their thin and aging frontline. Unconfirmed and unverified sources reveal that the Aguilar trade is an "off-shoot of a multi-teams trade that has yet to be approved by the office of the commissioner."

"Wala pa sa amin partner," replied PBA commissioner Chito Salud when asked if the parties involved had forwarded the papers for approval.

Also involved in the deal that is reportedly being ironed out is Barangay Ginebra's sister Petron Blaze, who will probably have to part with one of their shooting forwards just to satisfy Globalport.

The deal will have Aguilar moving to Ginebra for rookie center 6-foot-7 Yousif Taha and a future first-round draft pick. However, this move will be followed a trade involving Petron where the Batang Pier will get Jay Washington for rookie gunner Jason Deutschmann.

It is not clear yet if the first trade is dependent on the second one, but some sources say Batang Pier will not budge unless they acquire Washington.

If all parties managed to iron out all the details, one major problem would be to vet and convince the Commissioner that everyone involved were not on the losing end of the bargain. To do this, Ginebra should be willing part with their 2013 first-round pick and not an unknown and unproven player in 2015 or 2016.

It is too high of a risk to push the deal forward without anybody suspecting something fishy under the table. Besides, this will not augur well with fans who had seen enough head-scratching and lopsided deals favoring the richer teams in the last two years. Only the 2013 first-round pick will make the deal workable and believable since Aguilar is considered as Globalport's third best player, while Taha is at the bottom of the rotation as far as Ginebra is concerned.

Unfortunately, nobody can give a clear answer if Ginebra still have their 2013 first-round pick or what they have is Air21's pick. One thing is clear though, if the Aguilar trade doesn't push through, Ginebra can always look forward to Barako Bull's future pick in exchange for Elmer Espiritu.

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