You can’t teach size. This is something that is often said in basketball.
And that makes 7’2” Filipino sensation Kai Sotto a worthy pick—or a future investment—for a National Basketball Association team in the coming annual draft set Friday (Saturday morning in the Philippines) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Sotto, who is coming off a decent showing in the National Basketball League in Australia, has not been rated highly in the mock drafts, but he has been getting creditable attention, especially after his private workouts with several NBA teams.
The NBA website featured the Filipino homegrown and describe him as a player with a lot of promise to make it to the world’s most prestigious cage league.
“There will always be a place for seven-footers in the NBA and Sotto is hoping his skill set translates enough to the modern style of play that he can find a fit on someone’s roster,’’ said writer NBA writer Wheat Hotchkiss.
“A team will have to take a patient approach with Sotto, but he’s the type of player an organization might take a chance on with a second-round pick or a two-way contract. You can’t teach size, and that alone makes Sotto at least worthy of consideration,” he added.
The last workout he had was with the Indiana Pacers before he goes back to Atlanta. Sotto had also worked out with the Orlando Magic, Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
In a post-workout interview, Sotto described himself as a modern Pau Gasol with the combined pedigree of Giannis Antetokumpo and Nikola Jokic.
“I’m a skilled seven-footer that can shoot from the outside and a pretty good passer at my height as well and I have a high basketball IQ. Pretty good shot-blocker,” he said.
It’s an ability also shared by coach Brian Shaw of the NBA G League Select Team.
“Kai can shoot the ball from the outside. I think he has the aptitude to play the game and has basketball IQ. And I think he has a good skill set as well. It’s just a matter of putting in that work every day, doing everything at game speed,” Shaw said.
Former NBA player Justin Anderson, who trained with Sotto in Miami under Coach Remy Workouts, said: “He’s extremely skilled” on his Twitter post.
If anything, Sotto could be a long-term investment as a team could sign and keep him to train and develop one more year before unleashing a more potent, bulked-up Sotto.
That team could be the Sacramento Kings, where former Gilas and TNT player Jimmy Alapag works as an assistant coach of their Sacramento-G- League team, the Stockton Kings.
Sotto is bidding to become the first homegrown Filipino to be drafted in the NBA.