Kai Sotto will be returning to Australia.
Adelaide head coach CJ Bruton bared on Thursday evening that the 7-foot-3 Filipino is set to return to the 36ers for the upcoming 2022-23 National Basketball League season.
“He is,” Bruton told Aussie Hoopla NBL & NBA Podcast.
Back on April 21, 2021, Sotto signed a three-year deal with Adelaide as a Special Restricted player with the last year being a club option.
In his first year with Adelaide, Sotto averaged 7.52 points, 4.48 rebounds, and 0.83 blocks per game.
Bruton was actually surprised that Sotto entered the 2022 NBA Draft.
According to the head coach, a technicality led the Filipino big man to throw his name in the draft.
“I got wind afterward on a few different things but I don’t want to speculate. A few things happened with him finishing high school in the States, then going here, and obviously having his name attached to G League Ignite. But I’m not sure he was aware of that when he was here,” he said.
The draft though is not the only way to enter the draft, stressed Bruton — who was the 52nd overall pick in the 1997 NBA Draft.
Just recently, Melbourne’s Jack White was signed by Denver, two years after not getting drafted in the league.
“While it’s a moment that everyone sees, there are many ways to get into the NBA. We see it all the time, we saw that in Jack White, just getting in just now. There are different ways to get there, not just one way. Clearly, everyone has that moment,” he said. “I had that moment and I wasn’t even there. I was seating in a seat when my name was called. I was on the phone talking to the club and they said, ‘Sorry we missed you on the slot where we were supposed to get you at but we gotcha!’
“In the end, ultimately, everyone has different goals and dreams and Kai’s is to get into the NBA. I thought, he was two years away from doing that. Clearly, he put his name and could not get it out. It played out the way it did. Right now, it’s focusing on how to help the 36ers and get yourself into a spot where everyone is looking at you and that you are ready now”
The NBL season is set to begin on October 1.
Early this month, Sotto’s camp also sacked agent Joel Bell and will now be represented by Wasserman.