NorthPort insists it has no plans of trading star big man Christian Standhardinger, even for the right price.
“We won’t be trading Christian,” said NorthPort team governor Erick Arejola during Tuesday’s online session of the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum.
“He’s a part of the team, he’s a very vital part of the team so we won’t be trading him,” added Arejola, who joined Batang Pier team owner and House of Representatives deputy speaker Mikee Romero.
Standhardinger has been mentioned numerous times in trade rumors, most notably last February when talks surfaced of the Fil-German being shipped to Barangay Ginebra San Miguel for Greg Slaughter.
Slaughter eventually made a shocking announcement of taking a break from playing after his contract with Ginebra expired after the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup title run.
The 31-year-old has become one of the pro league’s best players since joining NorthPort from San Miguel Beer in a trade for Mo Tautuaa in mid-October 2019.
He won the Best Player of the Conference award in the 2019 Governors’ Cup with averages of 17.6 points, 10.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.2 steals in 15 games that saw the Batang Pier reach the semifinals for just the second time in franchise history.
NorthPort struggled in the recent PBA Philippine Cup bubble in Pampanga, but Standhardinger served one of the few bright spots by averaging 19.9 points, 12.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.3 steals in 10 games.
While NorthPort management reiterated its desire to keep Standhardinger, that doesn’t mean that the trade rumors would quickly go away.