DON'T look now, but Talk 'N Text may find itself trading away star guard Jayson Castro to get hold of top picks in next year's PBA rookie draft and get into position to sign prospective rookies like Bobby Ray Parks and Kiefer Ravena.
Multiple sources told Spin.ph that the Manny V. Pangilinan group is ready to trade away Castro, who emerged as the top point guard in the 2013 Fiba Asia championships in Manila, to get its hands on another first-round pick in the next draft which is not yet in its possession.
The source bared that the Tropang Texters are looking to trade for Kia Sorento's first-round pick next season, which is projected to land among the lottery picks in the 2015 draft slated in the third week of August.
"Yan ang plano ng management at coaching staff. They wanted to get hold of the Top 2 picks," said the source.
As it is, Talk 'N Text already holds another precious lottery pick in the first-round draft rights of Blackwater, which it acquired when the Texters and the Elite swapped first-round picks in 2015 in the trade that sent Larry Rodriguez to the Blackwater camp.
If Talk 'N Text can get KIA's first-round pick, it will in all probability have two balls in the draft lottery next season.
"Nasa kanila na yung draft rights ng Blackwater, tiyak ko mataas 'yun. Pag nakuha nila yung sa Kia, pwedeng No. 1 and No. 2 picks 'yun," added the source.
Spin.ph sources also bared that once Talk 'N Text gets into position to pick ahead of everybody else next season, chances are they will exercise the picks on amateur standouts Ravena and Parks.
Ravena has previously stated that he is still playing his final year in the UAAP with Ateneo, a school supported by the MVP group, and focus on his newly signed contract with the Gilas Cadet.
But a source declared the phenom's decision can still be influenced by Gilas patron and TNT big boss Pangilinan.
"Sabi ng Ravena family, he'll stay pa at Ateneo tapos may Gilas contract pa siya. Pero paano kung si Mr. MVP na ang kumausap sa kanya?" said another source.
Parks' situation is a lot simpler since he is already playing Hapee Toothpaste, a team with a partnership with the NLEX Road Warriors in the PBA D-League, and will likely declare for the PBA rookie draft next season if he doesn't get a shot at making it to the NBA.
"Yan ang scenario dyan. Pag nakuha na ang positioning, those two (Parks and Ravena) are pitted to be the top picks," he said.
Even without KIA's pick, the MVP camp is expected to dominate the drafting next season with five first-round picks, as it already owns the first-round pick of another struggling team, GlobalPort, which is with Meralco.
The MVP group also holds the first-round draft rights of Ginebra and San Miguel Beer, Blackwater plus Meralco's original pick.
"The coming draft should be a picnic for the MVP group kasi ang dami nila. Sa 2016 halos San Miguel group ang picks," said the source.
"Tapos ang daming marquee names na papasok sa draft," he added while rattling off the names of Gilas cadet Garvo Lanete, Chris Newsome, Arnold Van Opstal, Norbert Torres, Almond Vosotros, Scottie Thompson, cat-quick Fil-American guard Jawhar Purdy and former ABL star Moala Tautuaa.
A Castro trade should trigger a revamp of Talk 'N Text, the MVP camp's flagship team which was swept by old rival San Miguel Beer in the Philippine Cup Finals.
The Tropang Texters are one of the oldest teams in the league and the draft should be the best venue to re-stock the team with fresh legs - a process that actually started this season following the acquisition of top rookies Kevin Alas and Matt Ganuelas-Rosser.
The only possible hurdle to the MVP group's draft dominance is Rain or Shine, which owns the first-round pick of NLEX which it acquired in the Alas deal.
"Yung pick nga lang ng Rain or Shine na nakuha sa NLEX ang magiging sakit ng ulo ng MVP group sa draft kasi pwedeng pumasok sa Top 4 at 3 'yun. Pero yung Blackwater at KIA picks, halos sure ball na sa Top 2 'yun. Pag nangyari yun, Parks and Ravena, kanila na," said the source.
Meanwhile, Kia team manager Eric Pineda told Spin.ph they will seriously consider any Talk 'N Text trade offer involving Castro.
"Pwede naming pakiramdaman 'yan. Pero sa ngayon... Wala pa silang tawag sa amin," said Pineda.
But the longtime Team Pacquiao official hinted that though Castro can be a good addition to the expansion team led by boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, the Sorento's pressing need is for a big man.
"Makakatulong siya (Castro) kaso maliit naman," he added, expressing hope that TNT will throw a big guy into the mix.
"Pero okay sa amin 'yan. We'll see, abang-abang lang kami."
The trade plans should be among those discussed in a meeting on Tuesday noon that had Pangilinan talking to all the coaches and some players of the three teams under the company's umbrella.