JUST a day after Rain or Shine showed interest in GlobalPort forward Jay Washington, at least three more teams are now inquiring about possible trades for the agile 6-foot-7 wingman, sources said.
Barako Bull, a source said, is one of those teams, offering one of its three first-round picks in the coming PBA rookie draft for the former Best Player of the Conference awardee who spent time with current Energy coach Siot Tanquingcen at San Miguel/ Petron.
A second round of negotiation, the source added, had the Energy throwing high-flying forward JC Intal into the mix to sweeten the pot.
Aside from Barako Bull, also eyeing possible deals for the top pick overall of the 2005 rookie draft are expansion team Blackwater Sports and the Meralco Bolts, a source added.
Rain or Shine, for its part, is looking at what talent it can get with the second and ninth picks overall in the August 24 draft before going back to the negotiating table with GlobalPort on a Washington deal.
However, a possible deal-breaker for Rain or Shine, or the other teams for that matter, is the maximum contract of the 33-year-old Washington, who is currently in Miami with the Gilas Pilipinas training camp ahead of the Fiba World Cup in Spain.
With 18 more days to go before the draft application deadline, teams particularly those with picks in the first round are scampering to get their hands on quality big men.
There aren't many so far. Fil-Am Andrew Avillanoza (6’6”), Kyle Pascual (6’5”) and twins Anthony and David Semerad (6’5”) are the only quality amateur slotmen on the list of draft eligibles.
Gilas cadets Ronald Pascual, Jake Pascual and Matt Ganuelas are being convinced to forego their draft plans this year to stay for one more season in the D-League to banner a new team for the Manny V. Pangilinan group which may carry either the Cignal TV or Philex Mining banner.
Blackwater Sports assistant coach Aris Dimaunahan believes quality big men will be scarce in the present crop of rookies, which is expected to be bannered by Fil-foreign guards Stanley Pringle and Chris Banchero.
“Tingin ko walang gaanong malalaki na papasok (sa draft) ngayong taon. Tingin ko sa trade lang makakuha ng bigs ang teams, through trade lang. Wala silang makukuhang malaki sa draft,” said Dimaunahan, whose Blackwater Sports center Raul Soyud (6’5”) may likely join the draft this year.
“Pwede silang maghanap, tiyagain nila yung free agent market. Sa draft… tingin ko malabo,” added the former Ginebra guard.
Meanwhile, here is the picking order in the August 24 draft.