Warriors’ Santos shows promise in Summer League debut originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
SAN FRANCISCO – Taking all the challenges into account, 21-year-old Gui Santos delivered quite a compelling tease on Saturday during his debut as a member of the warriors†
Enough that it’s reasonable to believe that the 6-foot-8 guard/forward might be one of those rare late second round draft picks that build an NBA career.
Despite being 6,000 miles from his homeland in Brazil and having only had two practice sessions with complete strangers as teammates, Santos showed the advantage that forced the Warriors to select him no. 55 general nine days ago in the NBA draft.
Santos achieved team highs in points (23), rebounds (six) and steals (three) as the NBA Summer League version of the Warriors took a loss of 86-68 to the Sacramento Kings at the California Classic at Chase Center.
“Santos was good,” said coach Seth Cooper, “for a guy who hasn’t even had all the workouts we’ve had.”
Even as the Warriors’ youngest available member—Patrick Baldwin Jr., Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, and Ryan Rollins—Santos clearly displayed basketball instincts and solid overall skills, as well as a hint of dazzle.
He already has a fairly polished Eurostep move, which he showed after a steal led to a solo fast break that ended with a 3-point play that drew massive cheers from the crowd.
“In Brazil, everyone knows me because I know how to do it,” says Santos, who speaks good English. “I like to do the Eurostep move to use my body. I always do that. You will see that often.”
Santos is the child of pro basketball playing parents and joined the professional ranks in Brazil in 2018 when he was 16 years old. The following year, he scored 27 points in Brazil’s victorious FIBA Under-17 final against Argentina.
The experience proved. His comfort level and confidence increased as the game progressed. He shot 7-of-13 from the field, including 1-of-4 from distance, and was 8-of-11 from the line.
“Before the game I was nervous because it’s a different game here,” Santos said. “I play outside of my country and my family is not here. But when I started playing, I gained confidence. Catching the ball and making the plays made me feel better.”
Santos’ defensive anticipation led to steals and deflections, while there were signs of advanced attack, including clever passes and a nice step-back jumper. He is very willing to the brim.
The main blemish on Santos’ achievements was six turnovers, some of which can certainly be attributed to the novelty of everything to him.
“You see him really aggressive,” Cooper said. ‘Has he had any turnover? (Yes). Did he have some (bad) plays, especially early? (Yes). But you see in young guys, some young guys, even when they get into the NBA, who have a lot of turnover are guys who turn out to be really, really good players.
“We wanted to see him with the ball in his hands and we’ve seen that. He has to make plays. The more he does that, as the Summer League and his career progresses, the better he will get. But he showed a talent for attacking. , to have an effect on the game for a man who played his first game in the United States.”
While Santos probably won’t be on the Warriors roster next season — he’s a year or two away from the NBA — he was by far their best player in a game that was much more about individual evaluations than the story told by the scoreboard.