Screengrab Courtesy of JSM (via YouTube)

As we all know, the star big man out of the Philippines, Kai Sotto, went undrafted in this year’s NBA draft last June 23. It was a heartbreaking moment that Filipino basketball fans must accept. Meanwhile, the former 2020 NBA champs, the Los Angeles Lakers were not able to pick a prospect this year as their draft picks were already traded.

Despite all that – Kai Sotto going undrafted and the Lakers’ lack of picks – there is still a chance that Kai could become part of the purple and gold organization, somehow. If given the opportunity, why should the Lakers sign Kai Sotto?

Lakers Should Sign Kai Sotto

Photo Courtesy of tiebreakertimes.com

Before the draft, the 20-year-old big man sparked interest from various NBA teams such as the Sacramento Kings, Indiana Pacers, San Antonio Spurs, and many others. The fans, the media, as well as some scouts projected Sotto to be picked in the 2nd round. We, SpielTimes, even managed to predict Sotto to go late in the first round. Unfortunately, his name was never called by any team in the league.

Related: Why Kai Sotto Went Undrafted in the 2022 NBA Draft

On the other hand, entering the 2022 NBA draft, Los Angeles did not own any draft pick. Since the team seems to be in the “win now” situation instead of the rebuilding phase, it is also more likely they’ll pick up hidden gems while preparing for the 2022-2023 season.

Last year, L.A. got lucky by signing the undrafted Austin Reaves and Mac McClung. Reaves turned out to be a stud and McClung became the G-League Rookie of the Year. If they take a chance at Kai Sotto this year, Los Angeles could once again pick another diamond in the rough.

Why Should L.A. Sign Kai

While there are a lot of reasons why Kai shouldn’t play in the NBA, there’s also a handful of reasons why teams, especially the Lakers, should pick the young center. Here’s why they should do it:

  • The whole Lakers organization wants to win now as their stars are already aging.

    Taking a chance on an undrafted player seems to be the least difficult decision they could do. If the undrafted player (i.e. Kai Sotto) develops into a much better athlete, it’s going to be a win-win situation for the organization and the player. If in any case, the opposite happens, it will be easier to cut the player from the roster without suffering major setbacks.

  • Picking up an undrafted young center is a hundred times better than trading for an old and washed big man whom you have to pay a couple of million dollars.

    With LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook eating up the team’s cap space, it’s going to be difficult to add another star big man to the roster. In addition to that, Dwight Howard happens to be the only guy they have in the Center position. If they get Kai, the 7-foot-2 center can become a secondary rim protector, behind Dwight.

  • Sotto has shown flashes of greatness in the NBL (National Basketball League) but what is concerning about Kai is his problems with his lateral movement.

    Top scouts considered Kai to be slow with his “first step” and he also cannot cope-up with switching to smaller and quicker opponents. But, overall, Kai is a very complete player. He can knock down threes with ease, has a good post-up game, has great footwork, has great handles, is also a great shot blocker, and not to mention, he has a 7-foot-5 wingspan.

  • Kai could become a defensive liability, but with proper development, he can be a unicorn in the leagueKai Sotto is one of the rarest species of big man we have ever seen. He is unbelievably agile at his size. He is even a lefty who has a reliable jumper. As mentioned, he is slow in switching lanes, but he prides himself on being an emphatic defender in the paint.

     


In other news, two sons of legendary Hall-of-Famers are headlining the Los Angeles Lakers Summer League team.

Shareef O’Neal (son of Shaquille O’Neal) and Scotty Pippen Jr. (son of Scottie Pippen) who both went undrafted got picked up by the Lakers to play in this year’s summer league.

Meanwhile, a former Philippine Basketball Association head coach, Tim Cone, is heading to the NBA. The winningest coach in PBA will be joining Miami Heat’s coaching staff in the summer league. According to Cone, he wants Kai to play in the summer league. He also added that if he can pull some strings, he could add Kai Sotto to the Miami Heat squad.


Do you think Kai Sotto should play in the Summer League? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. For more content, stay with us, here at Spiel Times.

OTHER NEWS: NBA Update: What’s Next For Kai Sotto?

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