The Toronto Raptors are currently locked in into a dead-on battle with the Miami Heat to win a date with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals. Finding himself sitting through each game is sophomore, Bruno Caboclo. Caboclo, was the surprise of the 2014 draft, when the Raptors selected the Brazilian 20th overall.
On draft night, ESPN’s Fran Franschilla labeled Bruno as “being two years away, from being two years away.” With the end of the season coming to a close, Bruno is “two years away” now, and looking at his first two seasons in North America.
Caboclo has gotten use to the North American style of basketball and lifestyle by becoming fluent in english, Bruno has shown flashes of potential in the D-League with the Raptors 905. In the 905’s inaugural season, Caboclo had some decent stats: (14.7 Points, 6.5 Rebounds, 1.7 Assists, 1.1 Steals, 1.7 Blocks)
Looking at those stats, the first thing that pops up is the defensive ability in Bruno. Caboclo’s 7’7 wingspan hasn’t shrunk since being drafted, and it’s the reason why Caboclo is so good at shutting down his man and amassing blocks.
Though his defensive game is fairly strong, his offensive touch is where Caboclo is inconsistent. Caboclo did average around 15 points a game, but had a 40% field goal percentage, and shot 33% from downtown. Bruno does have a smooth jump shot, but has to find the consistency with it.
Caboclo found it comfortable for taking the ball to the hope, meaning he got into contact, but only averaged around 2.7 attempts a game. The Brazilian needs to find a way to draw more fouls, so he can get those easy points, as well as fixing that horrid 72% Free Throw percentage.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR CABOCLO
The things Caboclo needs to improve on are quite noticeable. He clearly needs to put on some weight, continue to develop his defensive IQ, and of course find a consistent jumpshot to improve his offensive game.
With James Johnson set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, Caboclo will have an opportunity to earn some minutes, behind Demarre Carroll. Another season in the D-League wouldn’t hurt, but it’s about time he’s earned some time in the big leagues.
The Raptors should treat the situation as if these past two seasons have never happened, and treat him like a rookie who was just recently drafted this season, and give him limited playing time, just like any rookie would. An example Norman Powell this season, by giving him some playing time, but not to much.