While most expected the Golden State Warriors to prioritize a veteran player with their vacant 14th roster spot, the franchise has instead pivoted into adding a younger player.
The Warriors will sign Brazilian forward Gui Santos to a multi-year deal, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowksi and Kendra Andrews. Golden State drafted Santos with the 55th overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.
Gui Santos has impressed the Golden State Warriors in his time with Santa Cruz and during Summer League earlier this year.
The 21-year-old averaged 12.7 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 26 G League games last season, shooting 50% from the floor and 33.3% from three-point range. Santos then averaged 21.9 minutes with the Warriors in Summer League, averaging 10.9 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists on 46.3% shooting from the field and 38.1% from deep.
Santos had an impressive 25-point (9-15 shooting), seven-rebound game against the Los Angeles Lakers early in Summer League, with his strong performances and evident improvement suggesting he was a chance to join the Golden State setup this season.
However, adding Santos to the main roster is somewhat of a surprise for the championship-contending Warriors. His best hopes appeared on a two-way contract, but Golden State have clearly been impressed by his improvement and have faith in the continued development.
The 6’7″ forward will continue to be a development player for the Warriors, with Andrews confirming Santos “is expected to continue splitting time with the team’s G League franchise in Santa Cruz.”
The signing also shows further trust in the Warriors current 13-man roster, including rookies Brandin Podziemski and Trayce Jackson-Davis who have impressed in limited minutes so far this season.
The Santa Cruz Warriors will tip off their G League season on Friday against the Stockton Kings at Kaiser Permanente Arena. They will then host the Salt Lake City Stars on Saturday in the second night of a back-to-back.