CJ Bruton, coach of the Adelaide 36ers, believes in Kai Sotto's talent and has faith that he will make it to the NBA league.

/ 4 February 2022

In an interview with PlayitRight TV with Quinito Henson and Dyan Castillejo, Bruton said that the NBA drafting opportunity for Kai might come at any time, but Kai should prioritize playing first and contributing to basketball.

“There’s no doubt that Kai will have every opportunity to play in the NBA. If it’s this year, depending on how the draft stock goes cause as we all know it can be different at different times, it’s to give him every shot to want to be first round and play and contribute, but I feel like right now, just for him to get drafted, his time will come,” Bruton said.

The 19-year old Sotto has been making up for his journey as he remains out of the Top 60 of most mock drafts for the 2022 rookie rites and has an average of 8.6 points on 56-percent and 4.4 rebounds for the 36ers so far.

“It’s more on Kai Sotto and he’s delivering in spades,” he said. “My job is to help [Sotto] become an elite player and hopefully, one day get to the NBA, and to get there, everyday counts. And I need him to keep pushing himself and set the tone everyday in practice which he’s been doing.”

Bruton perceived the 7-foot-3 Filipino import as someone who has a lot to offer.

“His charisma, his athleticism, it all shines within our group. The way he’s played has been next level, diving for loose balls in practice, blocking shots which we know he’s capable of doing, and finishing on the other end with authority and enjoying and bringing that smile in everyone’s faces and his own, which has been good,” he said.

Bruton was a six-time NBL champion and Finals MVP in 2012, and his experience of being drafted by the Vancouver Grizzlies and traded to the Portland Trail Blazers reminded Sotto of what it means to be a professional athlete and, at best, an NBA-caliber player.

“It’s almost like your first year of college basketball but being a professional athlete,” he said. “I talked to Kai earlier and I plan on getting him there. He knows that everything that he’s about to go into, he can handle.

“He’s already had before him in every different scenario which he’s seen, and by him playing in the minutes that he’s been playing, he’s earned every minute and he’s delivered. He’s learned from the clips that I sent him, he picks up on it, he understands, he studies the game. He’s a very good student.”

Bruton stated that there are NBA clubs interested in Kai, but for the time being, their focus is for the Adelaide 36ers to succeed while honing Sotto’s skills and talents.

“I think for every scout that I’ve spoken to so far from around the NBA that wanna know about Kai Sotto and his personality, what he can bring and where he fits, I said no doubt he’s gonna be there,” he said.

“For now, he’s here to help Adelaide 36ers to be successful and we’re here to help put Kai Sotto truly on the map where the world knows that internationally, he’s owned every element and every area of the game that he can possibly own.”