16 September 2015

How About Adopting the 'Rodriguez Rule'?

Larry Rodriguez
Larry Rodriguez may not have expected the controversy surrounding him after he was picked 9th overall by the Barako Bull in the 2008 PBA Draft, but he should realize by now that he could be a critical piece that the league need to stop all the lopsided trades in favor of two rival groups, the San Miguel Corporation (SMC) teams and the Manny V. Pangilinan (MVP) teams.

Rodriguez is now part of the Talk ‘N Text roster, the flagship team of the MVP group, after he bounced around from team to team and used as a pawn in trades that allowed strong teams to become stronger.

The 32-year-old forward out of PMI Colleges who suited up for all of the Tropang Texters’ three games in the MVP Cup that ended last 13 September was first traded by the Elastopainters for the Texter’s 2015 second round draft pick.

The native of Narvacan, Ilocos Sur who was curiously left out by the Elites during the expansion draft between them and fellow newcomer KIA Motors (now Mahindra), was then used by the Texters to acquire the Elites 2015 first round pick (which turned out to be Moala Tautuaa).

How can the Elites trade for an aging player that they previously rejected and who averaged less than 5 points and 6 rebounds per game for a potential franchise player that could easily give them double-double each night? They could have picked up Rodriguez at no cost, but they did not. It appears that they prefer to lost Tautuaa to strengthen the Texter’s depth.

Then during the offseason, the former Rain or Shine stalwart found himself going back to the Tropang Texters when he was made part of the Jimmy Alapag trade that also involved sister team Meralco.

The ping-pong movement of Rodriguez should compel the league to adopt a rule with 3 struct provisions. The first one should prevent teams from trading the first three picks in the draft for a player that average less than 10 points or 10 rebounds the previous season. Moreover, a team the traded for a player should keep that player for at least 2 years before they can trade him again. Lastly, a player that was traded by a team will not be allowed to go back to that team after 5 years of active play time in other teams.

This new rule could be a stretched, but if ever the team owners suddenly hit their heads and realized the value of high competitive spirit in the league by adopting this reforms, then they should name the measure “Rodriguez Rule” as a tribute to the man who was tossed around for reasons he did not have any control.

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