By REYNALD MAGALLON
Kai Sotto was buried deep into the bench and didn’t even log a single second as the Orlando Magic dropped their first game against the Detroit Pistons, 89-78, in the NBA Summer League at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas on Sunday, July 9 (Manila time).
Sotto’s much anticipated first taste of Summer League action didn’t even happen after Magic coach Dylan Murphy opted to stick with a core that is bannered by lottery picks Anthony Black and Jett Howard.
Five-year NBA veteran, DJ Wilson, naturally plays at the power forward position, got a huge chunk of the minutes in the front lines after being utilized more as a center throughout the contest.
It’s still unclear whether Sotto is nursing some kind of injury although even as a backup, Murphy leaned more on Robert Baker II, who played for Orlando’s G-League affiliate team, Osceola Magic, over the Filipino center.
Wilson logged 26 minutes with four points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals while Baker played for 15 minutes registering eight points, two rebounds and two assists.
Pistons’ young twin towers James Wiseman and Jalen Duren led the way with the former dropping 16 points and 11 rebounds while the latter adding 17 points and eight boards.
Hoping to impress and turn heads in front of curious spectators that include NBA scouts, coaches and executives, Sotto accepted the invite from the Magic in what his camp felt was the decision that would offer the 7-foot-3 center more opportunities.
Sotto, though, still has plenty of chances to get his NBA bid running when Orlando plays four more games in the Summer League, the next one, on Tuesday (Manila time) against the Indiana Pacers.