From New York to Cleveland to Chicago, Filipino prospect Kai Sotto is by far living up to the billing as the Philippines’ great brown hope to make it to the National Basketball Association.
The latest team that has taken a serious look at the 7’3” center was the Chicago Bulls as its basketball social media pages on Wednesday, were flooded with reposts from a top sports media personality in Chicago.
“(The) Chicago Bulls are showing interest in drafting Filipino prospect Kai Sotto and are working on bringing him in for a workout,” posted by Daniel Greenberg on his Twitter Chicago Sports Updates, which owns the tag as the official place for all the latest in Chicago sports.
The Bulls’ are thin at the center spot, with only All-Star center Nikola Vucevic capable of delivering consistently for the team as late addition Tristan Thompson and backup center Tony Bradley were disappointments.
After not being invited to the Draft Combine in April, Sotto is making rounds with teams for private workouts.
Sotto has already worked out with the New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers, and the latest with the Orlando Magic on Friday (Manila Time).
Orlando will have three draft picks this year, including the no.1 overall pick and two in the second round at 32nd and 35th.
The mock drafts have not been friendly to the Filipino phenom as his name remained missing in mock-draft reports, except for the Sports Illustrated, which predicted him to be selected 49th overall.
But Sotto is said to be eyeing a work out with 12 NBA teams ahead of the scheduled draft on June 23 (June 24 in Manila) in Chicago, where 30 teams will pick 58 out of the 283 draft applicants– 247 from colleges and 36 international players, including Sotto.
After Chicago, Sotto is reportedly heading to Atlanta to work out with the Hawks.
Sotto’s agent Joel Bell has reportedly assured that an NBA team has already committed to draft the teenage sensation from Southeast Asia.
Sotto is also confident that his short but meaningful stint at the National Basketball League in Australia has prepared him well for the tougher grind in the NBA.
“I believe that it really helped me develop and improve as a player playing and living in Australia. I have adjusted to the physicality and the way of playing (in the NBL).”
As a reliever center for Adelaide 36ers, Sotto averaged 7.6 points on 51 percent field goals, 4.5 rebounds, and 0.7 blocks per 15.2 minutes in 23 games.
If he makes it, Sotto would become the first homegrown, pure-blooded Filipino to be either drafted or play in the top professional cage league in the world.