Could Filipino prospect Kai Sotto be worth a Spurs' G League spot?
The NBA Draft is where aspiring basketball players get to fulfill their lifelong dream of playing for the big leagues. This year's class is full of talented young players that have shown brilliance on the court. Look at the top prospects this year. It's packed with players who can dominate in the paint and stretch the defense with their perimeter shooting.
With over 100 players looking to get drafted in the upcoming 2022 NBA Draft, 7'2 Filipino prospect Kai Sotto is nowhere near the top 60 players. NBA Draft Room currently has him ranked 102nd on their mock draft board. Still, even if that's his current situation in the draft, Sotto managed to get the attention of dozens of teams. The San Antonio Spurs aren't part of that group. However, if I were the Spurs, I'd consider a serious look.
Kai Sotto capped off the 2021-22 NBL season with somewhat okay numbers. He averaged 7.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and almost a block per game while shooting 50% from the field and 38.5% from the 3-point line. Believe it or not, those averages got him voted as the Fans' MVP.
His lone season in the NBL isn't that strong, and I was hoping he'd play one more season to increase his numbers and work on his physical attributes. But he declared for this year's draft, and there's nothing I can do about it.
What's in it for the Spurs?
The Spurs don't need to use a pick for Sotto as they already have a lot of more capable bigs on the roster. Add to that, by the time the free agency comes around, the Spurs will hopefully be pursuing Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton. Sotto is expected to be undrafted except in one mock draft where he was ranked 49th overall.
One thing the Spurs can get from Kai Sotto is that they'd be a part of history. If Sotto gets drafted or signed by any team, he will become the first 100% Filipino to play professionally in the NBA. It will be monumental for the San Antonio organization. Also, the Spurs are known to be exceptional when developing international players. What's more, there will be a massive flock of Filipino fans who will cheer for whichever team gets to steal the Filipino prospect.
Like I said earlier, they don't need to draft him. The Spurs can sign him to a rookie deal and send him to their G League affiliate, the Austin Spurs. I see it as a good move because the Spurs can unlock the potential of a player like Sotto. He recently turned 20 years old and has a lot of time to improve his game.
The Spurs have a lot of time to decide whether to go after the Filipino phenom. Should they pass on Sotto or be part of history? Sotto lacks in a lot of areas, but the potential is there. All he needs is a team willing to give him a chance, and the San Antonio Spurs might be it.