22 October 2013

Weighing the Possible Raymundo - Reyes Trade

Raymundo-Reyes Trade
In the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), a player's trade value is not always a reflection of his value on the court. While the two usually coincide, contract length, prior performance, age and injury history factor heavily into trade value.

There are productive players in the league who really can't be dealt, and then there are currently unproductive players that are hot trade targets. Kerby Raymundo is a prime example of a player in the latter group.

When rumors swirled about the possibility of moving Jay-R Reyes in order to acquire Ginebra’s Kerby Raymundo, some hailed this as a savvy move. However, many are wondering if the Bolts are better off retaining the 29-year old center than the almost-33-year old former Finals MVP. Besides Raymundo will most probably compete for minutes with the team’s already fully loaded forward position.

Let us try to examine the value of each player slotted on different ends of the production scale and find out if they have reached the peak of their trade value to justify the Bolts trading or retaining them.

Kerby Raymundo

It's been subtle, but Raymundo’s performance is starting to decline. The 6’6” bulldozing forward saw his PER, true shooting percentage and points per game all dip below his career averages since transferring to Ginebra from San Mig Coffee Mixers (B-Meg) in 2011.

That's natural and to be expected given the amount of miles on his body. Raymundo’s reputation may not have suffered much of a hit in the process yet, but it is obvious that he can no longer play 30 minutes a night, just like what he did from 2003 to 2010. He is reported to be receiving the maximum pay load from Ginebra.

If that doesn't set off the alarms for "declining trade value," pretty much nothing will. Raymundo is still incredibly skilled and can play next to virtually anyone because of his passing and shooting ability, but the past and present aren't on his side. This could be as productive and healthy as we'll see Raymundo for quite some time.

A nice start during the All-Filipino Conference (2013-2014) could raise his trade value relatively high, but missing any time would pretty much make him untouchable going forward. The age, injury and declining point per game are tough to shake, and if Raymundo can't stay on the floor, he'll have it firmly planted on him.

Jay-R Reyes

Reyes’s performance hasn't dropped off significantly yet, but time waits for no one.

The 6’7” center is getting up there in age, and while he's still as solid as they come on both ends, Reyes’ bruising style welcomes an awful lot of wear and tear on his body. It's hard to imagine he can play as many minutes and dish out as much punishment as he does now going forward.

Right now he's 4.39 points and 5.28 rebounds per game are worth every penny to a title contending team looking for a back-up center, but staving off an eventual decline seems unlikely. There's a good chance this contract is eventually viewed as "dump" candidate rather than a fair value.

Reyes is an above-average defender, but he's probably only a fourth scoring option because of his struggles to create for himself at times. There's no doubting that Reyes is a very good complementary player, but can he raise his performance level in the next three years to stave off the challenge of much younger, taller and stronger players?

Reyes is still relatively young enough to be viewed as having the potential to be more than what he currently is. Still, that potential tag comes with an expiration date, and Reyes is approaching it. If he doesn't make improvements, his trade value will start to descend slowly but surely from where it is now.


If the Bolts want to win now, they should get Raymundo as long as he is healthy. Otherwise, no need to invest on an aging forward. Another option to take is to trade Reyes to get a crack at the first round of the Rookie Draft. There is no telling what treasure the Bolts can uncover from the 2013 batch of rookies in the mold of Clifford Hodge. Last option, retain Reyes and use him to spell newly-acquired Rabeh Al-Hussaini some rest while trying to contain the other team's bigs.

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