11 July 2014

How About Trading Away David and Cortez?

Gary David
In drawing up possible roster changes in the Meralco Bolts line-up, the first question I asked myself was, "Why would Meralco give this player up and acquire that player in return?”

Admittedly, it’s hard to find an answer, but the best response could be that there are just no better options for them, and it’s better to get something than lose the value of that player outright.

For instance, some people might make the argument that the combo of Mike Cortez and Gary David makes the Bolts better than they were with pass-first guard Chris Ross and Macmac Cardona. Even though David is the best scorer in the league a few seasons ago, his inconsistency hurts the team more than the on-court antics of Cardona, and Ross is still a very effective player in making everyone look better.

Even if they aren’t better as a team, that’s precisely why the Bolts need to look for a deal that will take away David and Cortez for a much reliable and consistent tandem at the backcourt. With those two not getting any younger and had to contend several injuries, I don’t see how it can get any better than offering them as trade bait to the two new PBA teams.

The Bolts doesn’t have a very talented starting line-up and having a pick or two in the upcoming draft may just give then more versatility going forward.

Despite possible picks or trade options, the Bolts roster depth would remain mostly the same. Even though there is a risk of being downgraded as a result of trading David and Cortez, the Bolts still has quality player in Jared Dillinger, John Wilson and Anjo Caram who can fill up the void in case the trade does not pan out.

The highly underrated aspect of trading David and Cortez is that Bolts chemistry would be greatly improved. Any issues David has for handling the ball most of the time and Cortez questionable knees would be eliminated immediately.

The Bolts have a glaring hole at the center, with only the undersized Reynel Hugnatan holding the line. However, by putting their chips together and package David and Cortez with several players and future picks, the Bolts could get of plenty of option on the free agent market as well as the draft picks.

Defense at the center position would remain an issue, though Hugnatan is a better defender than he is credited for, he is not a high level rim protector. The Bolts would likely have to get creative here, especially with so few options in free agency and rookie draft. If they were to use their collective brains efficiently, prying seldom-used Samigue Eman from Alaska Aces might be their best option, though in an ideal world, they should stick it out with either Danny Ildefonso or the missing-in-action Rabeh Al-Hussaini.

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