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    Kai Sotto 'played really well' in mini camp, says Mavs owner Mark Cuban

    Will it be enough to get a Summer League spot?
    Jun 7, 2023
    spin zone

    CHICAGO - Kai Sotto spent the past two days working out with 20-plus other free agents and NBA hopefuls at the Mavericks Training Center in Dallas.

    The reviews are in. And it looks like the 21-year old got a passing grade.

    "He played really well," Mavericks team owner Mark Cuban told me in an email.

    READ: Gilas begins World Cup buildup under premise that Kai won't play

    A separate source within the Mavs organization who witnessed the "hours-long sessions" on Monday and Tuesday was similarly impressed.

    "He did great on the second day. He kept up with the pace," added the source, who has an input on whether Sotto will make the Summer League roster.


      Eighty percent of the two-day activity was devoted to scrimmages where the prospects were graded on the three essential elements in basketball - shooting, dribbling and passing, I was told.

      The remaining 20 percent was allocated to "skills breakdown and coachability," which includes grading basketball IQ and testing prospects' retention of end-of-game situations and other plays that the coaches draw for them to execute.



      Per protocol, agents and players' reps aren't allowed in those closed-door camps hosted by NBA teams.

      "We are happy to hear that Kai had so much more fire and played well on the second day," Tony Ronzone of powerhouse agency Wasserman Sports, which represents Sotto, said in a telephone interview.

      Just like his trip to Utah last week, Kai went alone to Dallas, a drastic change from past instances when the former Ateneno high school star always had company wherever he went.

      READ: I never said no to playing for the country, says Kai

      "It is important for Kai to come to these events on his own. He is learning to be a pro," said Ronzone, the well-connected former league executive who was tapped to help Sotto navigate the journey to become the first full-blooded Filipino to reach the NBA.

      Despite the rave reviews all-around, it's still uncertain if Kai's exploits in Texas will eventually lead to a roster spot in the Las Vegas Summer League.

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      "Too early to know. It's definitely possible," Cuban told SPIN.ph.

      But one thing is for sure.

      Under the pressure cooker, Kai Sotto did not drown in the Shark Tank.

      Get more of the latest sports news & updates on SPIN.ph

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      PHOTO: NBL / AP
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