- Kai Sotto’s name was not mentioned in the 2022 NBA draft
- Sotto later refuted his agent’s comments about declining Summer League invitations
- “We have a plan B,” Sotto said of his next plans
2022 NBA draft prospective Kai Sotto did not hear his name among the 58 picks during this year’s edition of the highly anticipated Showcase of Prospects, leaving many wondering what’s next for the young Filipino.
Sotto’s name started making waves a few weeks before the recently completed draft after reports surfaced that there was an NBA team committed to drafting him.
However, that promise fell through during the draft and now his dreams of being the first pure-blood Filipino to make it to the NBA are shaky
At this point, the 7-foot-2 still has a few options to take a step toward making that dream a reality:
- Get a Summer League invite and impress teams
- Get a G-League team to sign him
- Return to Australia
Sotto and his NBA agent Joel Bell spoke to Filipino sports personalities Quinito Henson and Gretchen Ho after the draft to discuss their next move.
“I have already received several Summer League invitations for him, but Kai has chosen to play for the Philippines national team. That is his commitment, and he is very committed to it [sense of] Filipino pride so he’s going to forego Summer League,” Bell told Henson when asked about the Summer League offerings.
However, Sotto would later refute Bell’s comments on Summer League on social media.
Bell explained ahead of the Summer League investigation that Sotto and his management team decided not to go for the draft-and-stash option that many NBA players have chosen because it would limit the Filipino to just one team instead having the freedom to talk to others if they are at all interested in him.
“We’re not going to do two-way contracts, G League, Exhibit 10 contracts or anything like that. Kai will be playing for a non-North American team at this point. He could return to Australia. There are some other teams in Europe who are interested,” said Sotto’s handler.
Bell’s revelation rules out the first two options for Sotto, and his intention to play for the Philippines national team will see him donning the uniform at the FIBA Asia Cup on July 12.
Returning to Australia and playing in the National Basketball League (NBL) seems like the best option for him at the moment as he is familiar with the area having already racked up 23 games worth of experience with the Adelaide 36ers.
The question now is whether Sotto will leave the NBL for good and move to Europe, as Bell mentioned the interest of some teams he didn’t want to mention.
Whatever choice Sotto makes next, his compatriots are sure to follow as support from his Filipino compatriots has already come so far.
But until such time as Sotto gets so much attention from the international scene again, the proud Filipino will keep working toward his goal.
“It’s just a speed bump. We didn’t get plan A, but we have plan B and that won’t stop me,” Sotto later said.
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