Americas Sports

Kai Sotto to play with Orlando Magic, hopes to be a regular NBA team member remains alive

Kai Sotto’s hopes to play as a regular team member in the NBA remains alive.
This as the behemoth Filipino cager has been invited to join the Orlando Magic in the 2023 NBA Summer League slated from July 7 to 17 in Las Vegas, USA.
The NBA Philippines, on its Facebook page, the Summer League stint will allow the 21-year-old, 7-foot-3 Sotto an opportunity to showcase his talent and skills in front of NBA scouts and coaches in the hopes of making the league.

Sotto, who is hoping to become the first homegrown Filipino to make the NBA, went undrafted in the 2022 NBA Draft last year.

The Filipino wunderkind previously  renewed his contract with the Hiroshima Dragonflies for the 2023-2024 Japan B. League season. The agreement included a clause which will give the Filipino import an option to sign with an NBA team should he draw interest.

Sotto, if given enough playing time with the Orlando Magic, is set to play against the first-round picks of Detroit, Indiana and Portland, according to Manila Times.

While Sotto plays a different position (center, power forward), if given enough playing time, the 7-foot-3 Filipino could battle Detroit’s Ausar Thompson when the Magic play the Pistons on July 9 at 5:30 a.m. (Manila time).

A 6-foot-7 winger drafted as fifth overall by Detroit, Thompson, 20, averaged 16.3 points, 7.1 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 2.4 steals for the City Reapers whom he led to the 2023 Overtime Elite championship. Thompson seized both the Season Most Valuable Player (MVP) and Finals MVP in that season.

Sotto, who is teammates with sixth overall pick in guard Anthony Black, will next face Jarace Walker when Orlando battle Indiana on July 11 at 8:30 a.m.

Washington drafted Walker eighth overall but traded him and two future second-round picks to the Pacers in exchange for the draft rights to Bilal Coulibaly.

That Sotto and Walker going head-to-head is more feasible since the former, who stands at 6-foot-8, plays the power forward position.

Sotto’s Orlando and Henderson’s Portland collide on July 14 at 9 a.m.

Henderson, 19, cashed in 17.6 points, 5.6 assists and 5.1 rebounds for the Ignite team in the NBA G-League 2023 season.

Besides Detroit, Indiana and Portland, Sotto and the Magic will also face the New York Knicks on July 13 at 8 a.m. Their fifth game is not yet announced as of posting time.