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    Cone believes Summer League still the best Kai Sotto path to NBA

    Jun 24, 2022
    Kai Sotto
    PHOTO: fiba.basketball

    BARANGAY Ginebra coach Tim Cone believes the Summer League is still the next best path for big man prospect Kai Sotto to the NBA.

    "I think the next best thing for him is the Summer League and then see if he can get the playing time and showcase his skills," said Cone on Friday night after the Kings' 75-72 win over San Miguel in the PBA Philippine Cup.

    [See Kai open to Summer League stint: 'My agent misspoke']

    Cone spoke just hours after the 7-foot-3 Filipino center fell short in his bid to become the first homegrown Filipino player to be drafted in the NBA after not hearing his name called in the proceedings at the Barclays Center.

    The multi-titled coach said it would be better if the 20-year-old Sotto gets to sign a two-way contract, which he said he hasn't heard of yet.

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      "There are still NBA guys in the Summer League, very few but there are," said Cone. "He wanted to be the best from the rest and that's the vision from the other teams. They see you."

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      Cone is not questioning the decision of Sotto's team, but he said it was difficult to have the Filipino big man under the radar while playing Down Under. The 20-year old played in Australia's NBL prior to entering the NBA draft.

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      "It's a lot harder to watch from Australia than it is in from North Carolina, or Georgia, or UCLA or some place like that," said Cone.

      "Yes, they see highlights, they see some videos, they might call or talk to some coaches. But they don't have full time NBA scouts there watching every game like they do in big time colleges."

      With Cone leaving for Las Vegas to join the Miami team in the Summer League, he suggested about possibly mentioning Sotto to Heat head coach Eric Spoelstra,

      "I will, if I get there. And I do my morning talk with Spo, I will definitely ask him about Kai," said Cone. "Hopefully, he'll be there and everybody will see him, not just Miami. I really care if a few teams pick him up. I really, really care."

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      PHOTO: fiba.basketball
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