CHICAGO - An unimpeachable NBA source, one that has close ties to the league and all its 30 teams, texted me a message yesterday afternoon about how Kai Sotto has been doing in his pre-draft workouts.
Kai Sotto NBA Draft chances
"Not so well. He won't and it's doubtful that he would be drafted."
After a jolt of shock and dismay, I eagerly wanted to run with this hot potato take, mercilessly pound my laptop keyboard, and then email a piece to SPIN.ph.
I resisted the urge and took the prudent course any fair reporter or columnist would take, which is to get the other side of the story.
So I text messaged Kai's agent, Joel Bell.
"Hey, how did Kai's workouts go? We heard, 'not so good,' is it true?"
Mr. Bell didn't take my inquiry well and lashed back at me with the fury of a fiercely protective parent.
Because private text messages carry expectations of privacy I can't divulge everything he said minus his tacit approval, but let me just say that Mr. Bell quickly got uncomfortable and called my line of questioning as "obnoxious" and "not a good look as a human being."
WOW. WHAT THE....
I was just hoping for a "yes" or "no" answer, or perhaps the standard agent posturing where everything remotely negative is refuted and flipped into something more positively cheerful.
What I got instead was the pixel version of a punch in the mouth while getting a homily about the meaning of life.
And this saddens me because Mr. Bell, instead of addressing the message, chose to attack the messenger.
It's no secret that Kai's handlers are unhappy with me after I was highly critical of Kai's dumpster fire tenure with the G League Ignite, which to me was Sotto's best pathway to the NBA.
But I want to make it clear that I have no beef with the kid, he's only 20 years old for Christ sake. In fact, I am often his biggest fan.
If you have any doubts, just read this piece I wrote before the cornona virus pandemic paralyzed the world.
Anyway, I'm still praying Kai would make it to the NBA. I've always dreamed of walking into a press conference or locker room asking a player a question using my native tongue.
Still keeping the faith.
MIKEY WILLIAMS UPDATE. The disgruntled TNT star made contact with the team yesterday. I don't know if he did so because he missed them or because he heard they were going to stop paying his salary until he rejoins the team.
Either way, "talks are on-going," a Tropang Giga official told me.
Meanwhile, I've been told that Mikey's handlers are pushing for him to take the deal and carry on.
It now seems apparent that the only party not on the same page in this twisted 43-day old contract extension talks is Mikey Williams.
Speaking of contracts, multiple sources told me that Javee Mocon asked Rain or Shine for a three-year deal worth the full max of P420 a month. The team declined.
And that is why Javee landed at Phoenix, where he got an "escalating" three-year deal that gives him a monthly pay of P330k in year one, P350k in year two and the full max of P420k in year three.
It's an awesome deal for the sixth overall pick in the 2018 PBA draft.
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