Bruno Caboclo shocked the internet when he was selected 20th in the 2014 NBA draft by the Toronto Raptors.
Live on the ESPN coverage of the draft, Fran Fraschilla said:
This is the all time swing for the fences pick. First of all he is described as the Brazilian Kevin Durant. He really doesn’t know how to play yet. I’m blown away. I’ve been doing this for 10 years. He’s 2 years away from being 2 years away.
That might have bothered fans a little bit, but I think it was the fact that Bruno Caboclo wasn’t on many draft boards and really wasn’t known by any fans that irked fans the most.
So there were certainly red flags that went up when Bruno was drafted. In his first two seasons with the Raptors, he’s only played a total of 66 minutes in 14 games. That generally isn’t a good sign for a player headed into his 3rd season. Part of the problem is the Raptors drafted an athletic body instead of a basketball player. They have tried to teach that athletic body “Bruno” how to play basketball.
Has Bruno developed at all since being drafted by the Raptors?
It’s a tough question to answer. Last season in the D-League Bruno averaged 14.7ppg (on 40% shooting from the field & 33.5% from 3), 6.5rpg, 1.1spg, 1.8bpg & 2.1tpg. Typically NBA caliber players would dominate the D-League. For example, Seth Curry averaged 23.8ppg (on 48.4% shooting from the field & 46.7% from 3), 3.9rpg, 4.2apg, 1.4spg, & 3tpg, which enabled him to earn an NBA contract. Furthermore, Bruno looked okay at times in summer league this year when teammate Norman Powell dominated. The expectation for NBA players in summer league is high because they are playing against players with limited to no NBA experience.
What is Bruno Caboclo?
He certainly isn’t, and will never be Kevin Durant.
When Bruno was drafted Raptors coach, Dwane Casey compared him to Rashard Lewis. Bruno may be a switch forward like Rashard was, but there’s a massive skills gap that Bruno will never be able to close. Bruno is like a poor mans Terrence Ross. He’s super athletic, but doesn’t use it. He makes bonehead plays that lead to turnovers or easy buckets for the opposing team. He seems comfortable just jacking 3s. It’s unfortunate he doesn’t shoot them at the same clip as Terrence. However, Bruno has the potential to stick in the NBA as a fringe NBA player.
He’s got great length, so his path to sticking around may be protecting the rim. Bruno has shown he can block shots at the D-League level. If he can somehow translate that skill to the NBA level it alone should be enough to keep him in the NBA.
Is there a path to playing time with the Raptors this season for Bruno? No. Not useless there is major injuries.
DeMar DeRozan, Norman Powell, Terrence Ross, DeMarre Carroll, Patrick Patterson, & Jared Sullinger all fill spots where Bruno could potentially play. Will Bruno be significantly better 2 years from now? He turns 21 in September. If Bruno continues to work on his game he should get at least marginally better and be serviceable enough to stick around in the NBA.