THE uncertainty surrounding Paul Lee’s free agency could prompt Rain or Shine to consider looking at other top-notch guards available in the PBA Rookie Draft as 'insurance,’ said coach Yeng Guiao.
Guiao said as of Wednesday, the camp of Lee remains silent on the three-year, maximum contract offered to the 6-foot combo guard by management, leaving the team in a state of uncertainty just four days before the draft.
“Siyempre, isa pang factor kung mag-da-draft kami ng guwardiya is 'yung pag-hold out ni Paul ngayon. Kasi, three years na maximum deal na ang offer namin sa kanya, pero nagtataka lang kami kung bakit wala pa kaming naririnig sa kanya,” Guiao told Spin.ph.
“So if he (Lee) hasn’t signed with us by draft day, we might look into the possibility of drafting for an insurance at dun papasok sila Chris Banchero saka yung mga Gilas (cadet) boys gaya nila Kevin Alas, Ronald Pascual, saka Matt Rosser,” he added.
Rain or Shine owns the No. 2 and No. 9 pick overall in Sunday's rookie draft.
The fiery Rain or Shine mentor said he has actually left management led by team owners Raymund Yu and Terry Que, together with board of governor Mamerto Mondragon to decide on the fate of the sweet-shooting guard out of University of the East.
“Nasa kanila na iyan (management) kasi if ever I get into the negotiation, wala naman akong maida-dagdag pa dahil maximum na nga ang offer namin kay Paul,” said Guiao.
But if he would have his way, Guiao reiterated his wish for the former Rookie of the Year to stay with Rain or Shine, knowing Lee is a vital cog to the franchise’s future title hopes.
“I don’t want to trade Paul, but we have a rule in our team and a philosophy na if you’re not happy with the team, we will find a way to make you happy. Eh alam naman ni Paul 'yun,” said Guiao.
GlobalPort has been vocal all along that it will use the No. 1 overall pick to tab Fil-American guard Stanley Pringle, leaving much of the guessing game on the Elasto Painters' No. 2 selection.
No less than 87 rookie hopefuls have made themselves available for Sunday’s Draft at the Robinson’s Place in Ermita.