THE PBA has made the best compromise it can offer to NLEX, Blackwater, and Kia, reducing the 10 member teams’ protected players from 14 to 12 and giving the three expansion clubs more picks in the incoming draft.
No direct hires of rookies, however, have been given to the new squads.
After a board meeting on Thursday revolving around concessions for the three incoming teams, Asia’s first professional basketball league has agreed to free two more players from each of the member teams by dumping the original “Protect 14” scheme.
That will free more players for the picking of the three new squads in a separate expansion draft, slated before the end of July. The pool will contain the unprotected players and the undrafted rookies.
“The board is trying to balance the interest of the three expansion teams and the ten member teams,” PBA commissioner Chito Salud said. “And the balance has been struck.”
The league has also given to the three new teams — apart from the 11th ,12th, and 13th picks — the first, second, and third selections of the second round as well as the remaining picks from the third round onwards in the Rookie Draft on August 24.
The order of picks will be determined through lottery announced at a later date.
The 10 existing teams will submit their final lineups at the end of the season, thereby instituting a policy that will require teams to protect 12 players, with the rest of players going to the expansion draft pool.