Bo Cruz’s draft decision at the end of Hustle leaves a major question: how did the Boston Celtics draft him? Adam Sandler’s Netflix movie Hustle tells a dual underdog sports story. While Sandler’s Stanley Sugerman pursues his dreams of going from scout to an NBA coach, he thinks this will be achieved after discovering Bo Cruz (Juancho Hernangómez). The Spanish basketball prospect has all of the tools to be a great NBA player in Stanley’s mind, but he just might need some additional coaching and motivation to get there.
Even though Hustle is not based on a true story, Bo Cruz’s journey to be drafted is quite real. He leaves Spain behind to join Stanley in Philadelphia and begin training, participating in various scrimmages and the NBA Combine to boost his draft stock. This comes after the Philadelphia 76ers pass up the opportunity to sign Bo Cruz before he declares for the draft. His path to having a realistic chance of being drafted is not easy, as Bo must overcome his checkered past and poor performance at the NBA Combine. Hustle’s ending builds to some mystery about whether or not he would even be eligible to be drafted.
In the end, Bo Cruz proves his doubters wrong and shows the NBA world that he has the skills to succeed, drawing a lot of attention to him. Hustle positions Bo as a top draft prospect alongside Kermit Wilts (Anthony Edwards) as a result. This makes the final reveal that the Boston Celtics draft Bo Cruz a bit surprising. Even though Hustle’s story is fictional, it operates in an NBA reality that is relatively close to the real world. The Boston Celtics haven’t had a top draft pick in several years, which makes them drafting Bo Cruz not line up. Unless he slid in the draft due to character concerns, Hustle’s draft decision for Bo is quite odd. Even though this likely had to happen because Juancho Hernangómez signed with the Celtics in real life, it raises questions about how Boston acquired the talented prospect.
Looking at the real-life Boston Celtics as a template for what happens in Hustle’s movie ending, it seems that a big trade had to happen. The team didn’t have a first-round pick in the 2021 NBA Draft after trading it to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Al Horford. Since Horford is on the Celtics team at the end, it appears this trade still happens in Hustle’s universe. This indicates that the Boston Celtics drafted Bo Cruz after new general manager Brad Stevens made another major trade.