Warriors Rookie Has Opportunity on International Stage After Summer Breakout

Gui Santos

Getty Gui Santos brings up the ball during a Golden State Warriors Summer League game.

After a stronger-than-expected showing in Summer League, Golden State Warriors rookie Gui Santos could have another chance to show what he can do on the big stage.

The 20-year-old, taken with the No. 55 overall pick in June’s NBA Draft, has been named to the preliminary roster for the Brazilian national team for the upcoming FIBA ​​AmeriCup 2022 tournament. Santos already turned heads with some strong performances for the Warriors during the Las Vegas Summer League, and will give Golden State another look at his potential as he competes in the tournament that includes a number of NBA veterans.

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Santos Has Opportunity to Shine

Santos was one of 25 players listed on Brazil’s preliminary roster for the international tournament, which Brazil will be hosting from September 2 to 11. The list includes some other NBA veterans, including former Washington Wizards guard Raul Neto and former Houston Rockets big man Bruno Caboclo.

As his draft profile on NBA.com noted, Santos has plenty of experience playing in Brazil. He has played in Brazil’s NBB, averaging 10.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.2 assists during the 2021-22 season.

He has also represented his country on the international stage, helping lead Brazil to a gold medal in the 2019 FIBA South America U17 Championship, scoring 27 points in the final against Argentina. Santos made his debut on the senior team during the 2022 FIBA AmeriCup qualifiers, averaging 8.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks.

The upcoming tournament could give Santos a chance to stand out before the Warriors start training camp on September 24, potentially building on his impressive performances for the team earlier this summer.

Santos Impressed in Las Vegas

Though many insiders saw Santos as a likely draft-and-stash candidate for the Warriors in the upcoming season, he challenged some of those expectations with a strong showing during the team’s Summer League season. He was the star of the team’s July 2 debut, notching team-highs with 23 points, six rebounds and three steals. Santos ended up averaging 8.0 points and 3.5 rebounds in 19.8 minutes per game.

After his performance in the team’s Summer League opener, Santos said he wanted to seize his opportunity to show what he could do against NBA competition after facing mostly players from his native country.

“I did well today,” he said, via the San Francisco Chronicle. “In my mind, I was like, ‘I need to do well, show what I can do.’ Because in Brazil, we don’t have a lot of guys coming down to see Brazilian players, so I need to introduce myself here first. That’s what I used to push me up during the game.”

The San Francisco Chronicle’s Connor Letourneau noted that Santos could now be a candidate for the 15-man roster, though is more likely to start his career in the G League.

“One popular name is Gui Santos, Golden State’s late-second-round pick who showed some promise at summer league,” Letourneau wrote on July 21. “But I think the Warriors would prefer someone more NBA-ready on their two-way contract. If they have it their way, Santos will spend next season with the G League’s Santa Cruz Warriors while the big club retains his draft rights.”

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