Decision to play in Australia fits well for Kai’s NBA dream, says agent

Published April 21, 2021, 9:11 PM

by Jonas Terrado

Photo from Kai Sotto’s Instagram account

The group representing Kai Sotto felt the decision to sign with the Adelaide 36ers in Australia’s National Basketball League will be beneficial in his goal of achieving his NBA dream.

Joel Bell, an NBA agent partnering with East West Private which handles Sotto, said the 36ers situation fits well for the 7-foot-3 Sotto as he hopes to boost his stock heading into next year’s NBA Draft which he can be eligible to join.

“We did it very quietly, very discreetly and after pretty intensive negotiation with a lot of people, we determined that the best spot for Kai Sotto to play next season is with the Adelaide 36ers,” said Bell, an agent to NBA players Ryan Arcidiacono of the Chicago Bulls and De’Anthony Melton of the Memphis Grizzlies.

“There were a lot of reasons for this. No. 1, the Australian league is an outstanding league. All you have to do is to look at the number of players who have gone there to the NBA.

“No. 2, his team, the 36ers, the management and coaching staff is just the best I’ve ever seen,” added Bell, referring to Adelaide general manager Jeff Van Groningen and coach Connor Henry. 

“They’ve made an unbelievable commitment to getting him his own regimen and diet so it’s going to be a fantastic situation.”

Bell, also said the 36ers offer elated Sotto due to the close proximity between Australia and the Philippines.

“As a side note, Kai was kinda happy that of all places we were talking about, Australia was the closest to the Philippines, certainly a lot closer than Russia so he was happy about it so I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for him,” Bell said.

Sotto won’t be joining Adelaide until later this year when the club starts preparation for the 2021-22 NBL season.

East West Private CEO Patty Scott said Sotto won’t be eligible to join the NBA Draft this year since he only completed his high school studies last month.

Players can be eligible for the Draft one year after graduating high school, per NBA rules.