A TOP official has confirmed that KIA is seriously considering a trade offer that would bring crack Talk 'N Text forward Ranidel De Ocampo to the Carnival camp in exchange for one of the team's first-round picks in the PBA Rookie Draft over the next two years.
KIA team manager Eric Pineda didn't hide the fact that he is thrilled about the prospect of getting De Ocampo but made it clear the offer should be evaluated along with other offers from other teams as well as the option of using the first-round pick in the August 23 draft.
Pineda said De Ocampo has been offered in exchange for a KIA first-round pick, either in 2015 or 2016.
“Kung matutuloy 'yan (De Ocampo trade), maganda. He’s a game-changer, he can help the team, he can be a leader,” Pineda said of the 33-year-old Gilas Pilipinas mainstay.
“Yes, may offer sa amin, either (for the) 2015 or 2016 picks namin. Di pa namin kinakagat, kasi everything is up in the air pa eh,” he added.
Spin.ph has previously reported that De Ocampo has been thrown into the mix in a three-team trade proposal that would start with Talk 'N Text sending Kevin Alas to KIA for the Carnival's first-round pick (at No. 2 overall) in the coming draft at Robinsons Place Ermita.
KIA would then send Alas to NLEX for Aldrech Ramos and Raoul Soyud and get De Ocampo from Talk 'N Text in exchange for its first-round pick in 2016.
Another source said Talk 'N Text coach Jong Uichico has already talked to both Alas and De Ocampo in practice, assuring the two players that news on any trades will come straight from him.
On the other hand, Pineda stressed that he sees a lot of upside in De Ocampo, a versatile 6-6 forward who is an in-out threat on offense and is at his best whern a game is on the line.
But Pineda stressed that they are still in the process of evaluating other options, including the likelihood of getting Gilas cadet Troy Rosario with the No. 2 pick in the 2015 draft.
“We’re not playing hardball, but syempre we want to get the best,” he said.
“Sabi ko naman sa kanila (Talk 'N Text), kung ibibigay si Jayson Castro, okay sa akin. Kung ibibigay si Ranidel, okay sa akin. Ibigay sa akin ng Rain or Shine si (Raymond) Almazan, okay sa akin,” he said.
“May mga serious talagang iba (na kumakausap sa amin). Sa akin kasi, they know what I need eh and we want to get a big man,” added the longtime Team Pacquiao official.
Pineda said there are plenty of options on the table.
“We have to get the best (players). Syempre, kung ganoon ka-valuable yung aming pick, they have to give us something in return talaga na ‘of same value,'” he said.
Pineda has no doubt De Ocampo is exactly what the doctor ordered for a young team like KIA.
“It’s like this: I can use my pick kay Troy Rosario, eh between Ranidel de Ocampo and Troy Rosario, kanino ka? Game changer kaagad,” he added. “Our team is young eh, we need a leader, a good veteran leader, someone who can harness our players to play their best.”
Apart from Talk 'N Text and Rain or Shine, Pineda hinted that Meralco, NLEX, Barako Bull, Alaska and San Miguel Corporation teams are also after their future picks.
See video of interview with Eric Pineda: