Boston Celtics draft: Danny Ainge should target Brazil’s Gui Santos

Boston Celtics (Photo by INTI OCON/AFP via Getty Images)
Boston Celtics (Photo by INTI OCON/AFP via Getty Images) /

When it comes to bringing talent to the Boston Celtics–and this goes for all 29 other NBA franchises as well–scouts mostly keep their eyes glued to the NCAA to find the next “ESPN graphic” superstar.

It makes sense why. Access is a big reason. The fact that history’s greatest achievers all came from an American collegiate hoops background helps. Michael Jordan (ACC), Magic Johnson (Big Ten), Larry Bird (Missouri Valley Conference), Shaquille O’Neal (LSU), and Bill Russell (WCC) all went through the traditional collegiate process.

Mainly, though, it’s the idea that playing against peers in what has historically been the most dominant country in Olympic basketball will forge the best professional.

With all of that said, the game is clearly changing. The last time Team USA took to international competition against the rest of the world, they placed seventh on a team coached by one of the game’s greatest leaders, Gregg Popovich.

The gap is rapidly closing between the USA and the rest of the world.

So when a Brazilian forward with a game like Danilo Gallinari declared for the 2021 NBA Draft today, the Houdini decided that perhaps the Cs should think about acquiring an early second round pick this July to acquire Gui Santos.

Currently ranked as the #33 draft prospect in 2022 by ESPN, Santos’ draft stock could theoretically improve with eyes now glued to Minas Tênis Clube of the Brazilian first division.

Contending teams should take a look at Santos as a complementary piece, given his specialty as a corner 3-pointer mercenary. He doesn’t possess impressive burst to the rim by NBA standards, but has good court awareness and can finish inside situationally.

The perfect storm would be the Boston Celtics playing their way towards the backend of the first round and improving their postseason seeding. Given Danny Ainge’s tendency to look towards the international market to find diamonds in the rough, a perfect storm of Santos showing out in Brazil and the Cs winning enough games could make a late first-round selection make a ton of sense for both sides.

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