SYDNEY – Following the deal between Petron and Globalport involving Denok Miranda and Chris Ross, expect Talk 'N Text to get involved in the PBA offseason’s wheeling and dealing.
Smart Communications vice-president for sports Patrick Gregorio told Spin.ph that the team, perhaps encouraged by the talent and depth of this year's rookie pool, is looking to trade for a draft pick higher than its second-round selection at No. 17 overall.
“We’re analyzing if we can get 2013 picks, because Talk `N Text doesn’t have a first-round pick, only a second-round pick (17th),” Gregorio revealed. “So if there are teams not interested in their 2013 picks because of a full lineup, then we’ll be happy to talk to them.”
A Spin.ph source disclosed the Tropang Texters are seriously pursuing the second-round pick at No.11 overall in Sunday’s draft owned by Globaport, which has the luxury of giving up the pick as the Batang Pier own a first-round pick at No. 7.
Aside from that, the Batang Pier are also set to acquire Barako Bull’s pick at No. 6 in a deal involving newly-acquired guard Denok Miranda, who came in from Petron in a trade for Chris Ross.
[For full story, see Petron finally pulls trigger on Ross deal, but final Miranda destination still up in air]
Gregorio believes that by trading up in the draft proceedings, Talk `N Text can have a shot at acquiring a quality rookie to reinforce the team’s ageing lineup.
The Smart executive said the team is willing to part with its 2015 picks in a deal.
“We’re still probing. I have to check with other teams if they are open. We are ready to give away our 2015 picks,” said Gregorio. “May mga nakausap na kami. Pero hindi pa napa-finalize.
"Hopefully, before we wrap up our board meeting here, may maisasara na tayo,” added Gregorio, while hinting Talk 'N Text is also open to trading for ‘warm bodies’ if the offer is good.
Talk 'N Text, the most successful team in the league over the last four seasons, is now one week into its two-week training at the Abunassar Camp in Las Vegas, according to Gregorio.
“We are already preparing for the Philippine Cup. We want to defend our crown,” said Gregorio, who is optimistic the team can pull off a rare four-peat in the all-Filipino tournament.
“The Abunassar Camp is a proven training facility, so I’m sure the team will be ready in time for the first conference,” he added.