If the 2021 NBA Draft were to be held today, Filipino Kai Sotto will be drafted in the second round at no. 46.
With scouts in the United States taking notice, Sotto vowed to continue working on his game, now that he has a possible spot in next year's rookie draft. If he continues to improve his game in the G League, where he has signed up, Sotto could even make it to the first round and become a lottery pick in the NBA draft next year.
“In the last year I have been here in America, I have learned so much. I worked on improving my basketball skills, building up my body, and gaining the confidence to play against the best basketball players around the world. The opportunity I was given was wonderful. I am very grateful to all those who support me and personally thanked them already,” said Sotto on Instagram.
Scouts in the NBA describe the 7'2" slotman who came from the Ateneo Blue Eaglets as “tall and thin with an emerging game. Sotto is an intriguing prospect to watch over the next few years.”
East West Private, an Atlanta, Georgia-based management group, is currently handling Sotto's training and wellbeing since he and his family moved to the United States in April last year.
And to get things done for Sotto, his management team has brought in super agent Aaron Goodwin as his representative.
According to the current NBA 2021 rookie draft rankings, Cade Cunningham is the prospective no. 1 pick.
Cunningham, a 6'6" freshman guard at Monteverde Academy in Florida, averaged 18.0 points and 8.5 assists per 36 minutes at the U19 World Cup in 2019.
Sotto's friend and recruiter, Fil-American standout Jalen Green is at no. 2. They signed up to play in NBA G-League Select Team last week
Green is a 6'5" combo guard, who is among the leading prospects when he took home the tournament MVP honors during the U17 World Cup in 2018.
If things go well in the G League, Sotto will have to compete for the top slots in the 2021 NBA draft with other top big-man prospects Evan Mobley, Ibou Dianko Badji, and Usman Garuba.
The 6'11" Mobley, who was 2019’s Gatorade Player of the Year in California, is a versatile big man boasting of a 7-foot-5 wingspan and a 40-inch vertical leap, which is a rare measurement combination, according to observers.
The 7'1" Badji, who is from Senegal, is said to be “enormous and freakishly athletic for such a big man.”
The 6'8" Garuba is knowing for having led Spain to the gold medal at the U18 tournament in 2019. He made an impression with his points (15.6 ppg), rebounds (12.9 rpg) and blocks (2.1 bpg).
“Now, I have to take the next big step towards my NBA dream. We have many options available, but after much thought, I believe this option is the best route for me to get closer and faster to that dream,” wrote Sotto in his message.
NBA G League president Shareef Abdur Raheem said they will be there for Sotto and all the other prospects, who signed up with them.
“We have a track record in the G League with the players that are developing. And they have the best coaches and the best resources. The Filipino fans who follow Kai will see the level of coaches. Coaches who figure in quality levels,” said Raheem in an online interview organized by NBA Philippines.
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