Let's face it - Greg Slaughter retiring with Northport is a stretch.
Also, I get why he's looking for money. Sure, his methods are a bit... for lack of a better term... James Harden-ish... but in the PBA, there are two sets of teams.
Yes, small-market teams can still pay for maximum contracts but the one thing they don't have is championship capabilities. We are talking about bonuses, perks, and even those commercials with their faces planted on some random fiesta table drinking beer or gin.
Hell, why would they even bother on prepaid cards and super-exclusive promos for that matter?
If Greg Slaughter can't have guaranteed salary goodness in Northport, then he's going to either the SMC or the MVP to get his money.
Now, he left Ginebra on bad terms.
I doubt if he'll have fun with Yeng Guiao as his coach.
And I think the one thing Meralco has that TNT has not is his former coach Norman Black.
Now, I don't usually do these what-if scenarios unless I am procrastinating or just bored.
Luckily, I am both.
I guess the best way for Northport to like a Greg Slaughter trade is by having a multitude of options. I can't see Meralco parting ways with their bigs although they should if they want to get the PBA's approval. Unlike in past seasons, Meralco actually has a lot of big men at their disposal. With that said, these big men aren't going to do it when faced against a June Mar Fajardo or a Christian Standhardinger or hell... a Greg Slaughter.
Furthermore, none of their big men are averaging in double digits. In fact, their big men have decreased their production. Raymond Almazan and Cliff Hodge's numbers have dipped and for some reason, Mac Belo has struggled under Norman Black's system.
Meanwhile, Northport will lose their big man but I guess they are better giving away Slaughter for another top find.
Is Mac Belo still a viable trade bait? The problem with the former FEU gunner is that injuries have messed up his growth. I want to say Almazan or Hodge plus a draft pick would have been enough but I doubt if Meralco wants to part with long-time big Cliff Hodge and a stud of a defender in Rakenrol Almazan. I mean, just imagine Slaughter teaming up with either of these bigs and the opposing squad will suffer a serious amount of Meralco beatdown.
Also, Meralco is dealing with a small-market team.
If I am Northport, I am going to try to get an often-injured player like Mac Belo. But then, I would try to get one or two more players from Norman Black's rotation. First of all, Meralco is not going to lose anything by sending second-round pick Christian Fajarito to Northport. With that said, if Northport needs size then Fajarito can be a good third-stringer.
And then I am going to look for a young piece. I doubt if Meralco is going to part with Bong Quinto because the dude is owning whatever job Norman Black is giving to him.
But what about Alvin Pasaol?
Remember how Pasaol's PBA entry was treated by people? Pre-draft scenarios even suggest that he's a diamond in the rough.
Meralco has never really chased for a big-time talent with the exception of Almazan. To get his services, the Bolts gave Rain or Shine their 2019 and 2021 first-round picks and while the verdict is still out for the awesomeness of Shaun Ildefonso, Clint Doliguez barely made an impact with the Elastopainters and just went under two points per game in 17 games for Northport.
Meralco may need to hold on with their pick since we're coming from a perceived shallow draft class though. Unless they could trick the Batang Pier to get their 2024 and 2025 picks, then I could see Meralco possibly part with Belo and Pasaol for the awesomeness of Gregzilla?
Did I target the right players or maybe I picked the wrong team to get Greg Slaughter's services?