RAIN or Shine officials said they are willing to grant Paul Lee's request to be traded to another PBA ballclub, so long as they get a 'top big man' in return.
Officials of the Asian Coatings franchise appeared to have been caught unaware by Spin.ph's breaking story that its biggest star has requested for a trade through longtime adviser and agent Lawrence Chongson.
However, Rain or Shine governor Mert Mondragon said the team is unperturbed, insisting that the Elasto Painters won't stand in the way of the former Rookie of the Year's desire to move to another team.
Mondragon said the team is willing to listen to trade offers for Lee and is willing to make a deal, so long as it gets a quality big man in return.
“Kami naman hindi hahadlang sa gusto nila," said Mondragon. "Basta kami sasabihin namin na walang problema sa amin na may ibang team na kukuha kay Paul, basta’t papalitan nila kami ng quality big man.”
Team officials led by co-owners Terry Que and Raymund Yu and coach Yeng Guiao were in a meeting in Greenhills discussing Lee's contract extension when news about his trade request broke.
The team had already offered a P15.12 million deal to the former University of the East star that already guaranteed him the league's maximum salary of P420,000 a month over the next three years.
The Rain or Shine officials were still holed up in a meeting plotting their next move at posting time.
But this early, Mondragon made it clear that the team is willing to grant Lee's request if the right trade comes along.
Spin.ph has earlier reported that San Miguel Beer, through former sports director Noli Eala, made an approach to Rain or Shine owners on a possible trade for Lee.
“Handa kaming makipag-usap, kung si Lawrence matutulungan kaming makahanap ng big man na pampalit kay Paul, mas maganda,” added the longtime Asian Coatings franchise.
Here's a podcast of interview with Lawrence Chongson: