Salud ‘very interested’ to look into Lee’s case
Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) commissioner Chito Salud will look into the Paul Lee case, saying that there’s a breach of league rules somewhere in the star point guard’s desire to leave Rain or Shine.
“I’m very, very interested in this case,” Salud told reporters, shortly before presiding upon the 2014 Rookie Draft yesterday afternoon at Robinsons Manila’s Atrium. “They must sort it out but the PBA Commissioner’s Office is open for arbitration.”
Lee, through his agent, Lawrence Chongson, had asked to be released from Rain or Shine even though management was offering him a three-year extension worth the maximum allowable amount of P420,000 a month as early as four weeks ago.
Salud said he has reason to believe that Lee’s camp had already talked to another team even with the cager’s contract set to expire at the end of the month, a serious breach of league rules.
“There could be premature negotiations and tampering,” said Salud.
Team coach Yeng Guiao had prepared for the worst considering how the Elasto Painters made their choices in the Draft. But the firebrand mentor said that the team will still try to persuade Lee to stay.
“I want this to be clear to all our players,” stated Salud. “You cannot simply be whimsical or capricious.”
Rain or Shine holds the rights to Lee in perpetuity, and if the Painters fail to come to a suitable trade with other teams, the cager will be forced to stay with Rain or Shine or sit it out until a reciprocal deal comes along.
In a related development, Talk ‘N Text signified its intentions to trade with the Painters after learning that the Painters are now open to trades.