None of the players I suggested the Toronto Raptors would draft with their #20 pick was in fact selected by GM Masai Ujiri. Most of them had already been snapped up by lesser teams (I like writing that!), so Masai, having had his candy taken away, decided to take a flyer. Bruno Caboclo is one of us now, so I thought I’d take a run at a retroactive scouting report.
Handle with Care! I’ve never seen him play in the flesh, and what little video I’ve managed to watch is of dubious quality. That said, they can’t shoot me for tryin’ to figure out whether this previously complete unknown will ever dress for the Raptors.
Bruno is an athlete. He may be skinny enough to blow away in a high wind, but he knows what he’s doing on a basketball court. Bruno moves like a guard, with no jerkiness or superfluous motion when he runs. Bruno has been called by someone the Brazilian Kevein Durant. That’s clearly premature at this point, but I must concede some resemblance, besides their similar height and scrawny build. The video I’ve seen showed a reasonable numbers of shots. Bruno’s footwork prior to leaving the floor, and during the shot, is excellent. His shooting form isn’t perfect; I would prefer to see the ball leave his hands at the apex of his leap, but he seems to be comfortable with a snappier release at around 80% (that’s Durant-like). Bruno has a lot of work to do in improving his contested shots closer to the hoop. He hasn’t much of a floater, and if he has a back-to-the-basket element in his offensive kitbag, I didn’t see it. Nor do I yet have a sense of his ability to use his off hand when ball-handling or shooting.
Bruno isn’t going to get any rebounds by boxing out his man; he’s not strong enough. To his credit, he doesn’t shy away from contact, but neither his positioning, nor the timing of his leap, are of pro quality . On those infrequent occasions when he pulls down a D-board, Bruno knows to release the ball quickly to initiate the fast break. His offensive rebounding is a work in progress.
Our new man gives a solid effort on D, and utilizes well his enormous wingspan to block shots, tip or deny passes, and generally be a nuisance.
Bruno won’t be 19 years of age until September. He may not have reached his full height, and he’s definitely going to need to bulk up. With sound coaching, nutritional support, and countless hours in the gym and weight room, Raptor fans may see a boy become a man, and a ballplayer, before our eyes.
Fran Fraschilla offered up the best line of the 2014 Draft when he described Bruno as being “two years away from being two years away”. While I have considerable regard for Fraschilla, I’m not in agreement with him. I think Bruno is closer than that, and I look forward to seeing him in pre-season.