Avid fans of the Filipino big man, Kai Sotto, can’t help but notice that the 20-year-old center is getting relatively smaller playing time this season compared to the 2021-2022 season. Last year, Kai was getting about 15 minutes of playing time. But, through his first five games in the 2022-2023 NBL season, Kai is only being played for 8 minutes, almost half the amount of time he got before that. Additionally, he usually logs in during garbage time so there’s not much to do for him most of the time. Fans and basketball enthusiasts are urging Kai to prove he is worthy of longer minutes with the current roster the 36ers have by being aggressive in the post and getting more offensively aware.

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Looking at the photo below we can see that Kai has a significant change in the minutes played. With that kind of playing time, it would be hard for Sotto to contribute to the team. Despite all that, the 7-foot-3 center still puts up 4 points and 4 rebounds a night.

Kai Sotto NBL Minutes


Why is Kai Sotto losing minutes?

According to the Adelaide 36ers head coach, CJ Bruton, he is doing what’s only best for Kai. Despite the limited exposure to the court, Bruton admitted that he has to balance things between developing a young and talented Kai Sotto and being able to win games for the 36ers.

“I’m not here to hurt the kid, I care for this kid and getting better and getting to his goal, which is ultimately playing in the NBA,” coach Bruton added.

Moreover, Bruton specified that Kai’s previous endeavor to be drafted in the NBA compromised his time with his NBL team (the 36ers). Sotto was out mostly during the offseason to train overseas and attend meetings/workouts with NBA teams and scouts. Unfortunately, Kai’s name wasn’t called out during the 2022 NBA Rookie draft. His absence in the 36ers training camp cost him to develop alongside the whole team.


With his diminishing playing time and fewer touches to the ball, is it high time that Kai Sotto considers changing his career path ergo taking his talents to another league?

Since going undrafted, Kai has made a lot of changes to his basketball career. First, his camp agreed to part ways with Joel Bell’s agency by signing with Wassermann Sports agency. Soon after, Kai made a quick appearance for his home country in the FIBA World Cup qualifiers alongside Jordan Clarkson. After the qualifiers, it was then decided that he will be returning to the Adelaide 36ers to exercise his contract.

Because of him getting fewer and fewer minutes plus he is also not getting the touches to the ball he needs, there’s a slight chance Kai Sotto’s camp and agency could look for another place to showcase his talent. Listed below are what we think are some notable leagues Kai should go to if ever they part ways with NBL.

  • EuroLeague
  • G-League
  • Japan B-League
  • KBL (Korean Basketball League)
  • PBA (Philippine Basketball Association)
Related: NBA: NBA Update: What’s Next For Kai Sotto?

EuroLeague

As of recent memory, there’s only one Filipino who has officially signed a contract with a European team – and that is Juan Gómez de Liaño. The 22-year-old had just recently signed BC Wolves in Lithuania. Now that we know there’s a chance Filipino basketball players can play in Europe, it means Kai Sotto can play there too.


G-League

Kai Sotto had a short stint with the G-League Ignite but was cut short due to the pandemic. This led him to sign with the NBL instead. Now, after going undrafted in the NBA, he could sign back to another G-League team and pursue his NBA dreams once again. Plus, he’ll get to share the court with Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson if he decides to play there soon.


Japan B-League

More and more young Filipino rising stars are opting to play overseas than play in their home country. One league that seems to be getting a lot of attention is the B-League in Japan.

Some of the known Filipino players currently in this league are Kobe Paras, Dwight Ramos, Matthew Wright, Kiefer Ravena, Thirdy Ravena, and many more.


KBL (Korean Basketball League)

Similar t,o Japan’s B-League, KBL is also accepting Filipino imports to play in their league. It may not be as big as Japan, but it can definitely offer Kai something he needs and wants.


PBA (Philippine Basketball Association)

The Philippines’ very own professional basketball league could be a destination for Kai but it is highly unlikely. Though he is going to be a superstar there, this would halt any plans he has on playing for an NBA team in the future.


Will Kai Sotto be able to set foot in the NBA? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. For more content, stay with us, here at Spiel Times.

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Sources: Adelaide 36ers, PhilStar, Spin.ph,
John Micheal (sometimes called JM or Mike) has been writing various types of professional articles for almost 2 years now. He is an avid sports fan and has been following the NBA since the early 2000s. He also loves playing a lot of video games like DotA 2, Valorant, but MMOs have a special places in JM's heart. Not only is he a huge fan of basketball and video games, he also loves movies and tv shows. He is a huge MARVEL and MCU fan plus he is into a lot of superhero stuff.