KAI Sotto wasn’t able to strut his stuff in a highly-anticipated NBA Summer League debut as the Orlando Magic absorbed an 89-78 loss against the Detroit Pistons yesterday at the Thomas Mack and Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Mr. Sotto did not play a single second and was stuck in the Magic bench, dashing the hopes of the hyped Filipino fans who anticipated the 7-foot-3 sensation to show his wares against the NBA’s top rookies and prospects.
Without Mr. Sotto, who’s the tallest in the team’s 22-man roster, Orlando fielded only 10 players and was overpowered by James Wiseman and Jalen Duren.
Mr. Wiseman, the 2020 No. 2 pick originally drafted by the Golden State before being traded to the Pistons, punished Orlando with 16 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks as Mr. Duren added 17 points and eight boards.
Detroit’s Ausar Thompson, the No. 5 rookie pick this year, tallied seven points, nine rebounds and three blocks in a duel against sixth overall pick Anthony Black, who had a 17-5-5-3 line for Orlando.
Mr. Sotto is among the only three centers for Magic but Dylan Murphy, mentor of the Osceola Magic in the G League, relied heavily on Robert Baker II and veteran DJ Wilson to man their frontline.
Mr. Baker played 14 minutes for eight points, two rebounds and a block as Mr. Wilson had four points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals in 26 minutes of action.
Kevon Harris led the way for Orlando with 21 points as Jett Howard, the No. 11 pick, had eight points, four assists and three steals.
Orlando, with Mr. Sotto hoping to finally see action, eyes to bounce back against Indiana tomorrow before wrapping up campaign against New York and Portland on Thursday and Friday, respectively. — John Bryan Ulanday