Kai Sotto projected as 49th overall pick in mock NBA draft

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HOBART, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 24: Kai Sotto of the 36ers dunks the ball during the round 21 NBL match between New Zealand Breakers and Adelaide 36ers at MyState Bank Arena on April 24, 2022, in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Steve Bell/Getty Images)
HOBART, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 24: Kai Sotto of the 36ers dunks the ball during the round 21 NBL match between New Zealand Breakers and Adelaide 36ers at MyState Bank Arena on April 24, 2022, in Hobart, Australia. (Photo by Steve Bell/Getty Images)

Less than a month before the 2022 NBA Draft, Sports Illustrated has projected homegrown Filipino basketball talent Kai Sotto as the 49th overall pick by the Sacramento Kings.

In a recent mock draft by the media outlet, United States-based reporter Brett Siegel predicted that Sotto will be drafted by Sacramento in the second round.

Sports Illustrated was the only US media outlet that predicted the Sotto to get drafted. ESPN, NBA Draft Room, SB Nation, Bleacher Report, Yahoo Sports, The Ringer, The Athletic, CBS Sports, and USA Today didn’t list Sotto.

The 7-foot-3 center has just finished playing for Adelaide 36ers in Australia's National Basketball League where he averaged 7.52 points, 4.48 rebounds, 0.52 assists, and 0.83 blocks in 15.2 minutes in 23 games. He also played for the Ateneo Blue Eagles in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) before suiting up for the 36ers.

Sotto is reportedly set to work out with the New York Knicks and at least 11 other NBA teams before the draft. He was among the prospects to tryout with the Orlando Magic.

“Ever since I’ve played basketball a lot of people have been watching me, especially from the Philippines back home,” Sotto, who is carrying the dream of “millions of Filipinos” his shoulders, said. “I don’t really feel pressure anymore, it’s more having fun through the journey. I love my job; this is what I love to do, so there’s not much pressure. I enjoy it.”

The annual rookie draft will be held on June 23 at 7:30 am (June 24, 7:30 pm in the Philippines) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Pola Rubio is a news writer and photojournalist covering Philippine politics and events. She regularly follows worldwide and local happenings. She advocates for animal welfare and press freedom. Follow her twitter @polarubyo for regular news and cat postings.

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