A week after the 2022 Philippine Presidential Elections, 12 PBA teams will choose the future of their franchise.
While some top-tier squads would rather veer away from the draft to poach in-house talents via conduit means, for "sincere" small-market teams, this is a chance for them to get the best talent without destroying their wallets.
As expected, the teams that wasted away their talents are picking first and second. And while I have hated Terrafirma's terrible choices, I really wish they would do well this season. It sucks that Roosevelt Adams and Matt Ganuelas-Rosser left the team high and dry in the middle of the conference. Blackwater, on the other hand, wasted a lot of top picks through the years and now has the "advantage" of picking three big-time amateurs in the first round.
Sadly this is also the first draft sans the disbanded Alaska Aces. The team has two picks in the first round and they are probably going to look for a superstar to bolster their ranks.
Hopefully, Converge is not going to be a conduit squad.
If you check out the draft order, I highlighted the whammy spots. I typical team would want two, or three at the most, picks to fill up their roster and it's hard for players to break out if he's the third most important newbie - let alone fourth.
In the case of Ginebra and Magnolia, I was almost on the verge of highlighting their first-round picks as well. Both teams barely rely on their rookies and often tag the new guys as projects. Tim Cone is notorious for benching his picks (with exception of point guards like Johnny Abarrientos, Mike Cortez, Mark Barroca, and Scottie Thompson) while Magnolia is also notorious for messing up a lot of supposed blue-chip rookies (Dino Aldeguer, BJ Manalo, Boyet Bautista, and Pari Llagas are amongst the notables).
And yeah, there's a good chance that TNT and San Miguel will get their stars from the other low-budget participants.
So are we finally going to see the likes of Jason Brickman, Jeremiah Grey, Mikh McKinney, Brandon Rosser, and Taylor Statham in the PBA? How about the bets from the UAAP and the NCAA?
I am going to do a mock draft eventually.