Bruno Caboclo is not 6 months away from being 6 months away

Bruno Caboclo is entering year fourth year with the Toronto Raptors. It’s safe to say he hasn’t been very good. Some people are expecting Caboclo to come out of a phone booth in a year and be a drastically better player. Sorry to break it to you, but that isn’t happening.

Bruno Caboclo Isn’t Superman

There is this argument that Bruno has looked decent in the D-League. However, looking decent in the D-League typically doesn’t translate well to the NBA. Even showing dominance in the D-League isn’t always enough to make and stay in the NBA.

Bruno Caboclo's D-League Stats

Season Team GP MPG FG% 3PM 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG TPG PPG
2014-15 FOR 7 8.9 29.0% 0.6 33.3% 100% 1.9 0 0.1 0.7 1 3.4
2015-16 905 37 34.3 40.3% 2.3 33.5% 72.7% 6.5 1.7 1.1 1.8 2.1 14.7
2016-17 905 34 27.1 41.2% 1.5 33.1% 65.5% 5.4 1.3 1 1.2 1.3 9.9

When Caboclo has gotten garbage time minutes with the Raptors, his offensive game has been bad. On the flip side, defensively Bruno has looked good. The sample size is minimal, and it is hard to translate garbage into anything other than garbage. The one thing we can draw from this is that Bruno hasn’t been a good shooter in the NBA or D-League.

Rookies, Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet, had success in their first year in the D-League. Bruno Caboclo has been in the D-League for three years and hasn’t shown development. In fact, Caboclo played fewer minutes in the D-League this last year than he did the previous season. You could say this happened because the Raptors 905 got a lot better, but by now Bruno should be the star of the team and probably the league.

Pascal Siakam's D-League Stats

Season Team GP MPG FG% 3PM 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG TPG PPG
2016-17 905 5 29 54.5% 1.2 50% 65.0% 8.6 2.6 2.2 1.6 2 18.2

Fred VanVleet's D-League Stats

Season Team GP MPG FG% 3PM 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG TPG PPG
2016-17 905 16 32.4 40.6% 1.4 40.7% 84.3% 3.5 7.6 1.5 0.1 2.8 16.9

Does Bruno Caboclo Get Minutes This Season?

Are we talking about in the G-League (formerly known as the D-League)? Very likely. But what about minutes in the NBA? If Bruno is getting meaningful minutes with the Toronto Raptors, this season something must have gone very wrong. Yes, the Raptors are thin at power forward with limited options after Serge Ibaka and Pascal Siakam. If Siakam were to get injured, I would assume Coach Casey would rather give PF minutes to one of CJ Miles, Norman Powell, or DeMar DeRozan over Bruno Caboclo. Last year he tried Jakob Poeltl and Bebe at power forward, and it didn’t work. Both guys fit well at center, but with limited shooting range, it’s hard to ask them to play PF. One possible scenario of Caboclo get some rotation minutes is a Serge Ibaka injury. If you have to fill 48 PF minutes without Ibaka, Siakam role would likely increase to 25-30 minutes. That still leaves 18-23 minutes to fill. The Raptors wings could probably fill 10-12 of those. Anymore and defensively you are asking for trouble. So that leaves 6-13 minutes for Bruno.

Caboclo’s Last Chance?

Bruno turns 22 in September. This year will likely be his final year to prove he belongs in the NBA. Caboclo will be a restricted free agent next summer, and in his current state, I don’t see how any NBA team would offer him a contract. There is an argument that the Raptors should try to keep him and develop him, but at what point do you cut bait and say enough is enough? The qualifying offer on Caboclo would be around $3.5M. Considering the Raptors will likely be up against the luxury tax again next season I cannot fathom paying that. I think it's hard to justify Caboclo even getting a roster spot at any price.

Bruno Caboclo is a rare athletic specimen, but that doesn't mean he is an NBA talent. The NBA is a haven for the best basketball players in the world. Bruno Caboclo simply doesn’t belong.


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