BLOCKBUSTER trades in the offing?
NLEX’s 6-foot-8 center JP Erram and Columbian star wingman CJ Perez are reportedly set to be shipped to TNT and San Miguel Beer, respectively.
But mum’s the word for KaTropa active consultant Mark Dickel.
“I cannot comment on anything that I don’t know to be 100 percent factual. That’s all I can say,” Dickel was quoted as saying by online sports portal spin.ph.
But Dickel admitted that Erram will be a big boost to TNT if and when the trade, that needs another team which will act as conduit, pushes through.
The Road Warriors and the KaTropa are sister teams and under PBA rules, they cannot directly swap players.
“However, I’ll say when I know it’s for sure. But it would be great. No question,” he added.
Erram was traded to NLEX from Blackwater in a three-team deal for Paul Desiderio and Abu Tratter last year. The Elite also received Francis Tamsi and TNT’s 2022 second-round pick while the KaTropa got Michael Miranda and Blackwater’s 2022 second-round pick.
Erram posted averages of 11.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, and a league-best 2.1 blocks per game for the Road Warriors last season.
Tabbed by the Dyip as the first pick overall in the 2018 draft, Perez promptly proved his worth in his rookie season where he averaged 20.8 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 1.9 steals last year.
He is a cinch to win the Rookie of the Year award after leading the league in scoring and finishing second to June Mar Fajardo in the statistical race for the MVP plum.
Perez does mind if the trade rumors are true and is convinced they are not.
“Ako naman, basta ginagawa ko lang iyong tama sa team,” said the high-flying Perez.
“Kung totoo man iyong rumors, sa tingin ko hindi naman.”
Added Columbian tactician Johnedel Cardel: “Wala (truth to trade rumors). Lumalabas lang iyon.”
While believing he is out to stay with Columbian, Perez knows that trades are part and parcel of being a pro.
“Kung mangyayari man iyon, siyempre ganoon talaga ang basketball. Hindi naman natin mase-secure kung saan tayo mapupunta,” he said.
For now, Erram and Perez, both in the Gilas Pilipinas 24-man pool, are training their sights on making it to final line-up anew for the first window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers.