Prior to the 2021 NBA G League bubble, Ignite star Kai Sotto opted to travel to the Philippines to report for international duty. Sotto was set to represent Gilas Pilipinas in FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers, however the games were rescheduled.
The 18-year-old traveled to the Philippines with all intentions to play, but has now found himself in a bit of a predicament. He has already missed half of the G League bubble and his return to the team is unknown.
March 6 marks the end of the regular season, with the playoffs running until March 11. The window for entry into the bubble is slim. According to Philstar.com‘s Alder Almo, Sotto needs to produce six negative tests before rejoining Ignite. With a source stating, “each situation is evaluated individually to take into account exact circumstances.”
Will Kai Sotto Return to Ignite?
“If/when Kai is interested in rejoining the team, we will begin working through any necessary COVID-19 protocols to get him back with Ignite,” the source said, as reported by Almo.
In a media availability on February 22, Ignite Head Coach Brian Shaw responded to a question regarding Sotto’s situation, “I’m only concerned with the guy’s we have here.”
“When I hear otherwise, from those above me, then we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it,” Shaw said. “But right now, we have 12-13 guys on our roster. I’m just coaching the guys I have here.”
Sotto’s agent Aaron Goodwin has mentioned that he’s unsure of the Filipino’s current status. Reports have suggested that the 7-foot-1 center’s earliest bubble arrival date could have been February 23. This was if he had communicated with Ignite as soon as possible. That date is flying by, meaning his G League debut will be pushed back, if it even happens at all.
Homer D. Sayson of Spin.ph reported that Sotto’s one-year deal with Ignite, valued at circa $250,000, is fully guaranteed. Sayson adds that the Filipino prospect has been receiving twice-a-month payments of at least $17,857 since August, and will continue to do so.
It’s a bizarre situation that surrounds Kai Sotto at present time, with numerous parties being unsure of his current status. But one thing’s for sure. As time continues to tick, the chances of Sotto featuring in the G League bubble decreases significantly.
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