Brazilian forward Gui Santos has submitted paperwork to the league office to make himself eligible for the 2021 NBA draft, his agent Aylton Tesch of A11 Sports Management told ESPN.
Santos, the No. 33 prospect in the ESPN 2022 mock draft, is having a productive season as a starter in the Brazilian first division for Minas Tênis Clube, which is in second place with a 26-4 record. The 6-foot-8, 18-year-old forward is averaging 8.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game, shooting 37% on 3-pointers.
He was one of 13 players invited to the Nike Hoop Summit World Team earlier this month, a prestigious honor. He put himself on the NBA radar at the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders Americas camp in 2019.
He was also a key member of the Brazilian senior national team lineup in the FIBA Americup Qualifiers window in November and was expected to do the same in the February FIBA window before Brazil’s games were postponed due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Because of his youth and the lack of scouting opportunities caused by the pandemic, Santos was not originally expected to be a part of the 2021 NBA draft class. Positive feedback from teams and the removal of NBA travel restrictions for scouting purposes led him to enter the draft to evaluate his chances of hearing his name called, his agent said. The Brazilian playoffs will start this week, and Minas will attempt to win its first league championship in club history.
Powerfully built, with a 7-foot wingspan that allows him to play bigger than his height, Santos sees time at both forward spots, being asked to do a little bit of everything for the Belo Horizonte-based team thanks to his versatile skill set and ability to defend multiple positions. He’s often tasked with bringing the ball up and getting his team into its offense, seeing quite a few possessions initiating pick-and-roll sets or attacking mismatches one-on-one. The freedom he enjoys offensively and the opportunity he’s received this season is somewhat of a rarity at this level of competition, as he gets significant playing time in both the Brazilian league and the Basketball Champions League Americas, a pan-continental league for the top teams in South America in which his team finished in third place.
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