A THREE-TEAM trade involving seven players is in the works, and it would see San Mig, interestingly, tweaking its lineup as it goes for a rare season grand slam.
Fresh from a rousing 102-90 win over erstwhile leader Ginebra on Sunday, San Mig, a source said, has agreed to send veteran big man Yancy De Ocampo to GlobalPort in exchange for journeyman Yousef Taha.
The swap, a source said, is supposed to be just the first phase of a series of transactions that would involve one more team and five more players. The other pieces of the deal are still being negotiated at posting time.
However, the De Ocampo-Taha transaction is already a done deal and the trade papers are expected to reach Commissioner Chito Salud's desk for approval before the day is over.
"It's done," a highly placed source said of the straight swap.
De Ocampo is an 6-7 slotman who has played for five other teams in an 11-year career but seemed to have found a home at San Mig where he has settled in the past two seasons.
However, his playing time has seen a significant drop this season since the arrival of rookie Ian Sangalang.
On ther other hand, the trade is the fourth for Taha in less than two seasons as a pro. The 11th pick overall of the 2013 draft had previous stints at Air21 and GlobalPort.
Retired PBA big man Jolly Escobar said the trade is a "win-win situation" as San Mig builds for the future while GlobalPort addresses an immediate need for a big man fill the hole left by injured Batang Pier big men.
“Kailangan na ng GlobalPort ang win eh. Medyo masakit yung talo nila the other day. They really need to beef up sa big man spot. They need a quality big man,” said Escobar, now a television and radio analyst during games.
“Kailangan nila si Yancy na kumuha ng rebounds, pero Yancy is more of an offense player, pero with his height, I think they will convert him into a rebounding guy,” he added.
Escobar said Taha's case is different, adding he sees the sophomore as a building block for the future in a San Mig team teeming with talent in the frontline.
“Taha will be lost in the rotation here, may (Marc) Pingris, may Sangalang, may (Rafi) Reavis," he said. "Pero I admire his work ethic. I call Taha our version of Joachim Noah. He is a hustle player. Give him some time, he’ll have his niche.”