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    Kai Sotto unfazed by NBA mock drafts ranking him as a second-rounder

    Dec 10, 2020
    PHOTO: NBA G League

    MOCK drafts have Kai Sotto in the second round of the 2021 NBA Draft this early, way below his Ignite peers Jalen Green, Jonathan Kuminga, Daishen Nix, and Isaiah Todd.

    But the Filipino wunderkind said he isn't one to dwell on those matters, insisting his sole focus remains on improving his game ahead of his G League debut.

    "I'm not putting too much attention to the rankings cause I know what I'm capable of doing," he said.

    "My dad always tells me don't think about it too much and focus more on my improvement as a player and a person. I'm just focused on getting better and whatever it is, it's their opinion."

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    Sotto certainly has taken full advantage of what he has, training his butt off in the team's practice facility in Walnut Creek, California as Ignite had its first set of scrimmages against G League peers last week.

    "I think it's been good," Sotto said assessing his performance. "There's a lot of adjustments and playing against pros isn't easy for me and for the other players. Those scrimmages are a completely new experience, but I think we'll be more prepared and more ready because of that."

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    The 18-year-old also exudes confidence, believing that he has already gained strides in his game since linking up with his G League squad.

    "I think I got better, got more athletic, got better a lot offensively," he said. "I've been here in the US for over a year training, playing here, and the competition I played is better, so I think I got better."

    Sotto also credited coach Brian Shaw for his growth as a player as the coaching staff, which includes deputy Rasheed Abdul-Rahman, as they continue to work on his weak points.

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    "Coach Shaw has helped me improve and he's telling us to be comfortable being uncomfortable. There are things that I'm not really good at, spots that I need to improve on more, and they helped me get used to it.

    "When I go to the next level, those are things that our opponents will try to expose, so for me, it's a matter of getting better in my weak points and make it to our advantage," the 7-foot-2 center said.

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    But Sotto knows that he still has ways to go from the kind of player he wants to be, noting, "I still think that I'm near, but I'm still far behind."

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      "My dad always tells me and always reminds me that I'm not good enough everyday. So I have to get better every single day. There's so much room to learn every single day being with such great players and coaches.

      "Every day, I try to learn a lot because our coaches have been through a lot as NBA players and coaches. Just the environment of being a better player and a pro on and off the court can only mean good for us."

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      PHOTO: NBA G League
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