Tim Cone: G League choice 'good' for NBA hopeful Kai Sotto
MANILA, Philippines – If it were another circumstance, Tim Cone would rather have Kai Sotto go to college, but the opportunity the NBA G League presents with its pathway program is just too good to pass up.
The 7-foot-2 Filipino became the first international player to sign with the G League select team, which was formed to prepare the best young prospects before they make the big jump to the NBA.
In the select team, Sotto will team up with Filipino-American Jalen Green and they will go up against NBA affiliate G League clubs and international squads.
"Normally, I would encourage everybody to go to college. But there are unique situations and both Kai and Jalen are unique in the game of basketball," Cone said in the Republika Huddle show of NBA Philippines.
"Right now – it is really unusual – but more than education, the ability to develop as a basketball player is a priority for them."
"They have a lot of development-type coaches in the G League and the level of competition they will go against is going to be much higher than it would if they just went as a freshman in college."
Also, playing time may not be major concern for Sotto considering the G League program is geared towards player development.
Cone used Japeth Aguilar as example as his prized Barangay Ginebra forward struggled to get minutes when he saw action for the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers in the US NCAA Division 1.
"[Aguilar] did not get the guaranteed playing time that he thought he was going to get so he did not get the opportunity to develop," Cone said.
"I think this is good because [Sotto] is going to the G League whose whole thrust is just to develop these guys. It is not about winning, it is not about losing."
For Cone, Sotto fits the bill of a modern big man, someone who can stretch the floor, dribble, and defend.
"[Sotto] is more along the lines for modern centers than a Shaq (O'Neal) or Wilt Chamberlain, guys who are going to play inside and be a power guy."
"He is not that type of player, which exactly what he should be because that is not the way the game is played now. Big men are evolving," Cone added.
"I think the kind of game that we have now is built for his type of body. I think that is really good news for him." – Rappler.com