MULTI-TITLED PBA coach Tim Cone believes that Kai Sotto is bound to get enough playing time in the NBA G League Select team which will even speed up his development.
In a Republika Huddle podcast of NBA Philippines recently, Cone compared Sotto’s situation with Japeth Aguilar in Western Kentucky, where the Barangay Ginebra star played sparingly in the US NCAA.
“The key is are they going to get playing time? I think that was the problem with Japeth Aguilar when he got to college. He didn’t get the guaranteed playing time that he thought he was going to get. He didn’t get that opportunity to develop," said Cone.
“I think this is good because he is going to the G League, whose whole thrust is to just develop this guys. It’s not about winning. It’s about developing guys as a player. They will have tutors, they will have marketing people, it’s just something that is really well-thought out,” he added.
Sotto's family led by Ervin, Cone's former player with Alaska, also made an excellent job of making the right basketball career decisions for Kai even before eventually choosing to play in the G League.
“I think his dad Ervin Sotto, his family made great choices for him. This is really probably the best, best chance for him to develop into the kind of player they are hoping for. I think it’s a good decision for them,” said Cone.
The 7-foot-2 Sotto joins Fil-Am Jalen Green, Isaiah Todd and Daishen Nix, Sotto in the G League instead of going to college, putting closer to his ultimate dream of making it to the NBA. The Select squad is unaffiliated with any of the NBA G League teams.
For Cone, the G League’s main thrust of developing players will move Sotto closer to the goal of becoming the first homegrown player from the Philippines.
“Let me say that normally, I will encourage everybody to go to college. But there are unique situations and both Kai and Jalen (Green) are unique in the game of basketball,” said Cone.