JUST months after Stanley Pringle entered the PBA as the top pick overall in the 2014 rookie draft, rumors have spread that the cat-quick guard will eventually find his way to Barangay Ginebra.
One Rookie of the Year award, three title-less seasons with GlobalPort, and four Ginebra coaching changes later, rumors of Pringle's move to the league's most popular ballclub continue to fester online and on social media sites.
Is it really bound to happen?
This much we know. Ginebra and other teams have long coveted Pringle, a pass-first point guard who can shine in any system, be it in Tim Cone's triangle offense or any other offense of whatever shape or form.
Ginebra, for one, can certainly benefit from a guard like Pringle to upgrade a backcourt made up of LA Tenorio, Jayjay Helterbrand and rookie Scottie Thompson.
Upon Cone's arrival this season, Tenorio was the lone guard in the Ginebra backcourt in his prime. Helterbrand, a former league MVP, is 39 and closer to retirement while Thompson is a season or two away from reaching his potential.
Therefore, getting a guard like Pringle is necessary to energize Cone's offense and bring Ginebra significantly closer to its first league championship in eight years.
But is GlobalPort willing to let a player like Pringle go?
Pringle has left no doubt that he is one of the league's top backcourt players in the stretches when he was healthy, burning defenders with his dazzling speed, impressive court vision and consistent outside shooting.
However, his partnership with the equally talented Terrence Romeo, while fun to watch, hasn't yielded the success expected from a GlobalPort side that has not gone past the semifinals in any conference.
So don't be surprised if GlobalPort's impatient owner Mikee Romero may soon decide to break up an explosive backcourt that hasn't had found a way to co-exist, simply because both need the ball to shine on the floor.
Once Romero's patience runs out, expect one or the other to go.
Aside from that, GlobalPort has over the years struck a lot of sweet deals with SMC-owned teams, the latest being the trade that sent Jonathan Uyloan and Keith Jensen to Star for Yousef Taha and Ronald Pascual.
Another former GlobalPort player, RR Garcia, eventually ended up with SMC-controlled Star as well in a separate trade with Phoenix.
From Ginebra's current lineup, in fact, four have come from GlobalPort - Japeth Aguilar, Sol Mercado, Nico Salva and Jervy Cruz, who didn't even play a single game with the Batang Pier before being shipped to the Kings.
GlobalPort, for its part, also got Karl Dehesa in a separate deal with Mahindra, but this early sources insist the sharp-shooting guard may end up in a package with Pringle and sent to Ginebra.
In return, GlobalPort, the sources added, may get Chris Ellis, Aljon Mariano, and Dennice Villamor. If the package isn't acceptable enough to the PBA, another player like Sol Mercado can be thrown in.
On whether Ginebra will pull the trigger on this deal is still uncertain. But one thing sure, the Kings better make a deal soon if they want Pringle, who, at 29 already a veteran of several leagues in Europe and Asia, is moving up in years.
This trade, unlike Ginebra the alcoholic drink, has a shelf life.