Purefoods jitterbug Paul Artadi demanded to be traded in the offseason and now gets his wish. He’s officially Brgy Ginebra’s property after the TJ Giants dealt him to their sister team. As sister teams cannot transact directly with each other, a third team (in pba lingo a conduit) is required to make the deal push through. Air21 Express is reportedly the third team and as part of the deal, ships a 2008 second round pick to Purefoods, and in return, receives Jec Chia and Paolo Hubalde from Brgy Ginebra.
Artadi demanded a trade from Purefoods management as he was being used sparingly by the coaching staff. How he fits into the Brgy. Ginebra system with already three point guards in its line up (Jayjay Helterbrand, Johnny Abarrientos, and Macky Escalona) remains to be seen. If his playing time dwindled with the Giants that only had Roger Yap, Boyet Bautista and at times Noy Castillo and PJ Simon rotating at the point, what more with Gin Kings who arguably have the better and more solid backcourt rotation anywhere in the league. Artadi gives the Gin Kings another “energy” boost off the bench, similar to what former UE teammate Ronald Tubid brings to the table. His non-existent offensive production may not even be needed by the team since they already firebrands like Helterbrand and Mark Caguioa who can handle the offensive load.
Meanwhile, the transfer of Artadi opens up another spot at point guard for Purefoods. The Giants are reportedly eyeing Red Bull’s Brandon Cablay to bolster their backcourt corps. Cablay is a combo guard whose playing career has been hobbled with injuries lately. He was part of the deal that sent Larry Fonacier to San Miguel a couple of months ago. The holdup to the deal according to sources, is Red Bull’s insistence that a first round pick be included in the deal while the Giants are only willing to give up two second round picks. It’s highly unthinkable that Purefoods gives up that future first round pick to Red Bull. The team didn’t give that up when Air21 dangled Mark Telan to them days before the draft. Telan eventually was traded to Coca-Cola.
This will mark the first time Artadi and 2005-06 James Yap will be separated from each other. Both Artadi and Yap were teammates since their glory days at UE. When both players applied for the draft in 2004, they were both taken by Purefoods second and eleventh overall. How will Yap respond without his favorite playing partner on the floor? Can Artadi realize his potential at Ginebra?
These questions will be answered when the PBA opens shop in October.