JUSTINE Melton's long stint with the Purefoods franchise has come to an end.
The veteran guard was dealt by Magnolia to Terrafirma to be able to get its hands on rookie big man James Laput, who fills a large hole in the Hotshots' frontline.
Also part of the trade was big man Kyle Pascual, who will have a homecoming with the KIA franchise after being packaged with Melton in the trade for Laput.
Until the trade, Melton was one of the longest tenured players at Magnolia, having stayed with the team since he was acquired in the second round of the 2012 PBA rookie draft.
Remnants of grand slam team
The departure of Melton left Ian Sangalang, Mark Barroca, and Rafi Reavis as the only remnant of the Purefoods team that won the grand slam in 2014.
At 6-foot-10, Laput was the tallest rookie in the recent draft who was picked No. 8 overall by Terrafirma after acquiring his rights as part of the CJ Perez trade with San Miguel.
Laput, who suited up briefly for De La Salle in college, averaged 2.6 points and 2.6 rebounds in just one conference with the Dyip.
The 5-foot-9 Melton was in and out of Magnolia's active roster in the last Philippine Cup due to injury.
Melton is still in the US for a short vacation.
Pascual meanwhile, returns to the franchise that picked him in the second round (24th overall) of the 2014 draft.
Following his stint with KIA, the big man out of San Beda landed at Blackwater, and later with Magnolia as part of the trade that centered on Allein Maliksi.
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