IS Jeff Chan equivalent to just one first-round pick?
Talk following the Chan trade to Ginebra has mostly centered on which promising rookie prospect the Gin Kings are expected to give up to Phoenix in this year’s PBA Draft.
But there were still some raised eyebrows in terms of the fairness of the deal, with not a few saying the Gin Kings could’ve added a player or another pick to balance the transaction.
Phoenix coach Louie Alas welcomed the addition of the intriguing first-round pick that is expected to land in the bottom half of the first 12 selections, but he also admitted that he initially didn’t accept the idea of letting go of his veteran sniper.
“Actually they (Ginebra) initiated it (trade), ang daming scenario before na-consummate 'yung deal. Initially, ayaw ko yung trade because Jeff was a major part of the plan of rebuilding,” Alas admitted to SPIN.ph.
The outspoken mentor also didn’t mind receiving another pick – a second-round selection – from the Gin Kings to sweeten the deal.
“Of course kung may extra draft pick na second round, we’ll be better,” Alas said. “(But) first round (pick) is first round – important part of our team in the future.”
Alas said he wasn't receptive to the idea of getting an extra player from Ginebra in the trade.
“Kung extra player, medyo makakahati pa nila JC/RJ/Jaypee sa minutes,” he added, referring to his wing rotation of JC Intal, RJ Jazul, and Jaypee Mendoza.
“Extra second round ang gusto namin, not extra player,” he added.
Outside the Phoenix camp, there were also some who were surprised the transaction gained the approval of the PBA committee that approves trade transactions.
TNT coach Nash Racela also weighed in, comparing the Chan trade to the KaTropa's own deal that brought Jericho Cruz to their camp from Rain or Shine.
The PBA committee initially flagged that Cruz trade for TNT's 2018 first-round pick and only approved the trade after TNT first-round pick Sydney Onwubere and Kris Rosales were thrown into the mix.
That, Racela found perplexing.
“After hearing about the trade, I was surprised lang that they undervalued Jeff compared to Jericho,” Racela said when asked about the two trades.
“Main factor I’m reading is age pero at 34, he’s (Jeff’s) averaging close to 32 minutes and scoring 11.6 points this conference. When we got Jericho last conference, he was playing at career lows in minutes and points. And yet, we had to give up two more players on top of our 2018 first rounder,” he added.
Cruz, though, has flashed his worth to his new team, being a barometer to the team's success lately. The dynamic combo guard is averaging 13.3 points on 53.5-perecent shooting, five boards, 4.7 assists, and 1.7 steals in 20.7 minutes in their last three wins, before his numbers dropped to 2.3 points on 33-percent shooting, 1.5 boards, 1.7 assists, and 2 steals in 15 minutes in their last two losses.
Still, the question persisted: Is one first-round pick enough to get Chan in a trade?