Bruno Caboclo’s progress – how to turn him from prospect to Raptor


The die is cast with Bruno Caboclo. He’s a Toronto Raptor, but is not ready to suit up for real games. If I’m writing the guide on how to turn a raw 18-year-old (who doesn’t speak English) into a contributing member of our team, here’s what you’d see.

  1. Get him under the wings of team veterans like DeMar DeRozan immediately [Check - he's already in Los Angeles with DD and Amir Johnson.]
  2. Give him a boatload of minutes in the Las Vegas Summer League. When he’s not playing, he’s in the weight room. Remind him constantly: “Bruno, this is not a vacation. The bright lights and other temptations of Lost Wages are not your friend.”
  3. Speak English, all the time. He needs a ceaseless bath in the language.
  4. Allow him one Brazilian contact – a friend, a parent – who will be close at hand.
  5. Give him a short vacation, then get him to training camp early. Work his tail off. [Check - by all accounts, Bruno is a gym rat.]
  6. Play him a ton in pre-season. Guys like DD, Amir, even younger players like Terrence Ross and Jonas Valanciunas, know how to get ready for the real games. They don’t need to run the risk of injury.
  7. Announce he’s made the team, play him in spots during the first 10 games of the season, then send him down to the D-League.

“How are you gonna keep ‘em down on the farm/after they’ve seen Par-ee?” popular post-Great War song, c.1919 – If we want Bruno to bust his hump, the best way is to show him the NBA’s excitement, then give him a few months of long bus rides to places like Bakersfield, CA, Tulsa OK, and Reno NV. Once he’s seen how the other half lives (travel on chartered jets; stay at the best hotels in the hottest cities), then had it taken away, he’s going to do everything he can to return.

All of this planning and implementing will have little or no bearing on the Raptors this season, barring a catastrophic string of injuries. Bruno isn’t ready, and won’t be ready, to help the big team. Despite all our technological advances, it still takes nine months to produce a baby, and that can’t be rushed. Neither should our latest project player.

 

Tags: Toronto Raptors

  • T-Bone

    “If we want Bruno to bust his hump, the best way is to show him the NBA’s excitement, then give him a few months of long bus rides to places like Bakersfield, CA, Tulsa OK, and Reno NV. Once he’s seen how the other
    half lives (travel on chartered jets; stay at the best hotels in the hottest cities), then had it taken away, he’s going to do everything he can to return.”

    - I agree with nearly all of your points but I disagree with your idea that this is the best way to develop and teach a player to “bust his hump” (especially an 18 year old who is new to the culture & language). By all accounts, he appears to be a gym rat, so this may indicate that he already has an innate, internal desire to “bust his hump”? In addition, i think Bruno has a good idea “how the other half lives” in a much broader sense, as stories indicate that he was not raised with a silver spoon in his mouth.

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi T-Bone:
      The last thing we want to do with a person like Bruno is create in his mind a sense of entitlement. He needs to understand in his gut that all the wonderful experiences he’s had can be taken away.
      Of course, there’s a much more mundane reason for him to go down. He needs to play, and he won’t be doing much of that with the big team.
      Thanks for commenting.

  • Saskatoon Raps Fan

    Could not be more against the trade. Paying gasol 22 million a year is ludicrous. And we’re trading two useful players (plus fields) for a declining gasol? Ill pass. In a one-game winner take all situation sure I’d take gasol over either Amir or Lou, but not over both for the grind of the entire season. And those expiring contracts give us a lot of flexibility in the future. Don’t want to sacrifice that for pau, unless his deal was also 1 yr, but he’d never go for that, and even then that’s too much given up for a 1 yr rental

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Saskatoon:
      I’ve been to your fair city; took in a Blades game one winter’s night long ago.
      Did you mean to leave this comment under this story? I suspect you’re responding to the Gasol trade post. Anyway, I’m intrigued to note that so far no one likes this deal. I thought there would be lots of “get us a star” people weighing in.
      Thanks for commenting.

  • Guy

    I have to agree with T-Bone. I can appreciate wanting Bruno to spend some time the D-league to get minutes, learn, develop. And that’s a conversation that Ujiri needs to have with Bruno long before it happens so he knows the reasoning. But to send him there in the manner you’re suggesting…. give him long bus rides & to take the NBA excitement away from him…. is akin to punishment. You may view it differently, but I don’t think the best way to motivate an 18 yr old kid is to take something away from him unexpectedly & for no apparent reason.

    What also needs to be considered is what situation help him develop quicker & better. Being with the team, in practice working with his teammates/coaches & being on the bench, watching NBA games up close? Or…… riding the bus for several months playing against summer league talent?