THE wheeling and dealing has started barely 24 hours after the PBA Rookie Draft.
In its initial attempt to unload a heavy backcourt, Star on Monday sent big guard Alex Mallari packing in exchange for Mahindra stretch four Aldrech Ramos.
The 6-foot-6 Ramos still joined the Floodbusters during Sunday's draft at the Robinson's Place in Ermita, but was told later on that the deal with the Hotshots was already approved by top management of both teams.
The trade papers haven't yet been sent to the Commissioner's Office for approval owing to the long holiday in observance of All Saints Day.
The 28-year-old Ramos has not attended Mahindra’s practices the past few days prior to the draft as he was already notified about the possible trade that was only given the go-signal after the rookie proceedings.
The departure of the former Far Eastern University big man at Mahindra, acquired by the team from NLEX last year, became inevitable after the three-year franchise selected fellow FEU alumni Russel Escoto from the special Gilas draft.
He is coming off his best season as a pro with the Floodbusters, averaging 13.3 points and 5.7 rebounds as one of the top offensive options of the team.
Ramos is expected to add size to a Star team that is teeming with combo guards at the backcourt.
The Mallari trade has somewhat unburdened the Hotshots of having one too many playmakers in their roster, which also boasts the likes of Paul Lee, RR Garcia, Mark Barroca, Justin Melton, and newly-acquired rookie Jiovani Jalalon.
Mallari became the latest key player of the Hotshots team that won the grand slam two years ago to be traded in a month’s time after two-time league MVP James Yap.
Star board member Rene Pardo earlier hinted the Hotshots are not yet through consummating trades to improve their roster following the trade of Yap to Rain or Shine for Lee.
Meanwhile, Mahindra is also set to acquire Ryan Arana from San Miguel in exchange for Keith Agovida and Josan Nimes from Rain or Shine in exchange for a future pick.