There wasn’t a lot of Golden State Warriors’ presence at All-Star Weekend. Steph Curry was out injured. Klay Thompson retired from the Three-Point Contest after 2018. Even an army of K-Pop fans couldn’t get Andrew Wiggins into the game after he missed a month. And Jonathan Kuminga was cruelly snubbed from the Rising Stars Game.
Who did play in Salt Lake City? The No. 55 pick in the 2022 Draft, Gui Santos, who was voted into the G League’s Next Up Game by the fans. We are not aware of any internet campaign mobilized by an Asian boy band member, so it has to be the fans noticed Santos’ rapid improvement this year. He went from barely knowing the Sea Dubs’ plays to becoming a reliable shooter and high-IQ player.
And he dunks on people.
Santos had 15 points on 6-9 shooting at the Next Up Game, playing for Team Scoot, the team captained by G League Ignite guard and presumptive No. 2 draft pick Scoot Henderson. They fell to Team Luka, who were led by leading vote-getter Luka Garza, not Doncic.
Gui Santos no G-League Next Up Game:— Brasil Storm Basquete (@brasilstormbasq) February 19, 2023
Could we find his stat line in English, or a box score for the game? No we could not.
The Warriors have high hopes for Santos, who could become only the second Brazilian player in the NBA, aside from third-string Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Raul Neto. Understandably, there’s a lot of excitement about Santos in his native country, along with the city of Santa Cruz.
He’s on a trajectory to nab a two-way contract next season, even if Steve Kerr might not be thrilled to add another 21-year-old to the roster. But it was a great experience for Santos to attend All-Star Weekend and play against some of the best talent in the G League.
And to show off some amazing cold-weather looks.
Congratulation to young Gui, who may indeed be “next up” in the NBA’s illustrious legacy of Brazilian talent, a worthy successor to Leandro “We Gonna Be Championship” Barbosa.