Christian Standhardinger’s unorthodox free throw, almost no-miss lay-ins, and unrelenting rebounding goodness could make him the top pick spot of the 2017 PBA Draft.
It’s almost certain that Kia will waste his talents though. But what if… just what if… Kia tries to trade him for a horde of role players?
Maybe a straight up trade for Moala Tautuaa?
Or how about Asi Taulava?
I guess the details behind Standhardinger’s Hong Kong Eastern Lions contract is that the deal would be one and done. CS is going to join the league after his contract is up and his ABL commitment could have an escape clause especially if Chot Reyes can’t secure Andray Blatche. This is either bane or boon for the team that would pick him. Standhardinger will enter his rookie year at age 28 and he will also enter the league under the same bind as Alvin Patrimonio (who entered the league after finishing his PABL obligations) and Don Allado (who entered the league after finishing his DLSU obligations).
So with these factors we need to consider, Christian Standhardinger is a red flag at the top spot.
But if you take away his ABL and Gilas Pilipinas commitments though, Christian Standhardinger is a deserving number one pick contender. I didn’t know his gameplay up until I saw him grind for the national squad. Seeing his gameplay made me realize the value of a Christian Standhardinger. He is not another version of Mike Hrabak’s early PBA days. In fact, he’s a cut above the rest. He is a finesse player with an attack dog mentality.
Right now Standhardinger is in the same place as Tautuaa once was as far as Gilas Pilipinas goes. CS is the number one backup in case the naturalized player is not available. The only difference between the two is that Tautuaa is more of a combo forward while Standhardinger is a forward-center. CS can defend the paint and this is the first thing we want from our hired gun.
From the looks of things, Kia Picanto is the runaway top pick winner no thanks to their abysmal roster. Reden Celda has been a revelation for a late pick but this is to think that he’s basically the chief relief of the only starter left from the team last season.
I just can’t see Kia holding on the top pick especially on how bone-headed their picks are since coming to the league a few years back. I get the entry of Manny Pacquiao because this is just a promo tool but then they threw Troy Rosario for Aldrech Ramos, KG Canaleta, and Rob Reyes. The Rosario trade was a smart swap… if they were able to keep the players they acquired for an extended period.
Then in the 2016 PBA Draft, they took in Russel Escoto as their special round guy… who is practically the least offensive-minded player of that dominating FEU roster. Worse, Escoto got injured. I am not knocking on the FEU slotman especially since the youngster solves the needs of Kia in the paint but for a team to trade great assets like Ramos, Canaleta, Karl Dehesa, Bradwyn Guinto, and Paolo Taha to create a squad that can be beaten by… oh I don’t know… the Cignal Hawkeyes is just insane.
In order for Standhardinger to work efficiently, he needs a dominant frontcourt partner as well as a capable quarterback. He is a hothead but unlike his Jones Cup stint, Standhardinger has held his emotions in check which made him a beacon of consistency especially during the FIBA Asia Cup.
I don’t know what beacon of consistency he’ll hold for every lopsided defeat this team will unearth… not unless he wants pain and he’s mad enough to single-handedly turn this squad into something else.
Okay so I admit, I want CS to play for the MVP squads because as mentioned, he is the backup in case Blatche bails on Gilas. If the SMC squads are interested though, I guess the best team to bid for his services is the Star Hotshots. The Hotshots have struggled with the departure of Tim Cone and while Chito Victolero has done well to ignite their lust to succeed, none of Star’s young frontliners have what it takes to bolt out from their bench. With that said, his ABL commitment, his potential national team commitment, and the blatant giveaway to snatch young stars are red flags which means Star is better off claiming an evolved version of Raymar Jose as well as a potential go-to-guy in Jeron Teng.
Kia is better off with a young gun they can develop as well. But then they had the right idea when they traded Rosario for the three mentioned. I mean… Aldrech Ramos realized his potential as part of Mahindra. Like I said, I was baffled when the then-Mahindra squad blew their assets for duds. During the previous Governors’ Cup, Mahindra scored their first playoff trip and while they were routed by the Meralco Bolts, people saw them as diamonds in the rough. A year later, the only remaining names to play in that playoff game are Revilla, Mark Yee, Chito Jaime, Philip Paniamogan, Jason Ballesteros, and Bong Galanza.
Sure, Blackwater messed up their squad when they traded Arthur dela Cruz and Raymond Aguilar for Chris Ellis and Dave Marcelo… but just look at this game to see their contrast of evolution.
Whether they trade it to the MVP Group, the SMC Group, or the other “independent” factions in the league, Kia needs to trade the pick for a set of players. Right now they can get a starter and a key reserve… or a starter and their 2017 first round pick. Talk N Text and Phoenix have two first round picks in the coming draft. Just imagine the possibilities for Kia when they drop in the draft to gain a top draw?
With the effort Christian Standhardinger unearthed when he played for pride and honor, he deserves to be this year’s first pick overall.
I don’t know if he can lift Kia from whatever bind they are in though.