The 2021 PBA Draft is barely a week away and this got me thinking – amongst the 80+ hopefuls, who will have the best careers?
Well, it’s certainly not the players who will play for the title-hunting squads. Sure, there’s a chance that these guys would win a bunch of championships.
Darko Milicic is the first player to win a championship from the 2003 NBA Draft and we just know as the dude that shouldn’t have been ahead of Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and even... Kyle Korver, whose rights Philadelphia earned after New Jersey kind of traded him for a photocopier.
Now I recognize that Darko Milicic is a bust... but I don't really consider him as a very, bad player. It just happened that his confidence got shot early on for being a human victory cigar and sandwiched between the Hall of Famers.
Anyway, here are the five worst landing spots in the 2021 PBA Draft.
1 | GINEBRA | FIRST ROUND
What more does Ginebra need? Well, after selecting Scottie Thompson and Aljon Mariano five drafts ago, the Kings have taken Jammer Jamito, Jett Manuel, and Jerrick Balanza to bench-warming hell. And while they did use Kevin Ferrer extensively, they used him as a defender rather than the offensive juggernaut we saw from him during his UST days. And while yeah, they have Arvin Tolentino strutting his wares to become the diamond in the rough Tim Cone has been looking for... actually this is another reason why the twelfth pick of the 2021 PBA Draft is going to be a whammy spot. The Kings need to develop Tolentino further and one conference isn’t enough for the former FEU forward to flourish. Remember, he has yet to fight in an import-laden tiff. And with Christian Standhardinger coming in to demand time and touches, I don’t know how the twelfth pick could evolve under these circumstances.
And I’m not even going to list the 24th pick here because... I doubt if the Kings would even use that pick.
2 | RAIN OR SHINE | LATE SECOND ROUND
Rain or Shine has a total of four picks in the first two rounds. They have a Top 5 first-rounder as well as a second-rounder but they also have two late second-round picks taken from Phoenix and TNT. And while yeah, Rain or Shine’s team isn’t as solid as it was during Yeng Guiao’s championship drive back in the day, the team still balances a good amount of veterans and rookies. And this is why the last two picks could be a talent wasteland. Javee Mocon led Rain or Shine in points, rebounds, and blocks the last conference and he’s just an incoming third-year player. Rey Nambatac is also poised for a breakout year under Chris Gavina and this is only his fourth year in the league. Perhaps the biggest trouble for the last two picks is the fact that the Elastopainters have a horde of incoming second-year players. In the 2020 Philippine Cup, Adrian Wong is the only rookie to play in all of their 12 games. They may have dispatched Clint Doliguez to Northport but they have Prince Rivero and Vince Tolentino fighting for spots. In the last three drafts, Rain or Shine have picked the likes of Jomari Sullano, Paul Varilla, Robbie Manalang, and Harold Ng in the second-round and as mentioned... being selected as the third or fourth player in a draft is not a pretty sight.
3 | MAGNOLIA HOTSHOTS | FIRST ROUND
I feel like this is within the same boat as the Ginebra pick but the only difference is that Magnolia could find a way to get either a guard or a center at the tenth spot. While yeah, Michael Calisaan failed to make an impact in Magnolia in the two years he spent there, Aris Dionisio turned into a valuable cog during their Philippine Cup run. If they take a guard, he will probably become the fifth backcourt guy after Paul Lee, Mark Barroca, Jio Jalalon, and Justin Melton but he’s going to learn a lot from those guys. But yeah, for sure they’ll be looking for a big man since Rafi Reavis is in his 40s, Marc Pingris could be looking to retire, and they don’t really have a big man to pit against June Mar Fajardo, Christian Standhardinger, and now Greg Slaughter. The problem for the Hotshots here is that at that point, they’ll probably go for the best option available... not unless there is still a 6’6-plus beanpole left in the draft.
4 | NLEX ROAD WARRIORS | SECOND ROUND
It’s bad enough to be a second-round pick... but it’s worse if you’re headed to a team that owns the third and fourth pick of that draft. The Road Warriors are souped-up in the guard spots with Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Alas, Jericho Cruz, and Mike Ayonayon and I am guessing that the first-round picks are big men. But regardless if Yeng Guiao selects two big men or some sort of high-low combo, being the third rookie on the priority list is a bad thing in any way you look at it. And it’s an even bigger problem for this pick that NLEX re-signed unused players like Kyles Lao and AC Soberano to their fray. So at the moment, the team has Ayonayon, Will McAloney, the incoming first-rounders, this guy, and the two signed players.
5 | ALASKA ACES | SECOND ROUND
It’s either Alaska or Phoenix to round out this list and I guess I’m just going with the Aces because of how their team is at the moment. In 2017, Alaska had Jeron Teng but Davon Potts had a hard time making an impact even if there were flashes of brilliance in his gameplay. Alaska took MJ Ayaay as their first-rounder in 2018 with Gideon Babilonia in the second-round and both guys are out of their lineup. And last season, aside from taking Allyn Bulanadi as their Gilas pick, the Aces had Barkley Ebona in the first with Rey Publico and Jaycee Marcelino in the second round. The thing about these players is that Aces have a lot of holes to fill in their lineup but they aren’t necessarily looking at the draft for a solution. In the last five drafts, Alaska has passed in the second round twice and in the third-round, twice as well. Having the same deal like that of the Rain or Shine Elastopainters, I just can’t see the Aces having six virtual rookies in their roster.
Now for the best landing spots? I may or may not vlog about it.
Anyway, if you like this, take time to share it with your friends... and even tag it to your enemies.