The Toronto Raptors announced Sunday they have signed Lucas Nogueira and guard Will Cherry. So, the roster for the forthcoming season is set, at least for now.
Today, we will discuss the acquisition of the Brazilian 7-ft center, “Bebe” Nogueira.
First of all, let’s provide few information about his profile. He’s 22 years old, with 7.0 ft height and weighs 220 lbs. He’s long and has an impressive 7.6” wingspan, which helps him a lot with his defensive duties. From 2009 to 2014 he was playing in Spain, for Estudiantes. Bebe was drafted by the Boston Celtics with the 16th pick in 2013 and traded to Atlanta Hawks last season. Although he was drafted, he stayed in Spain for another season, and this year, the Raptors acquired him, along with Lou Williams. Although he had still a contract in Spain, the Raptors used the NBA Buy-out clause he had on his contract and signed him on August 3. His European or Summer League stats are not “breathtaking”. 5 points and 6 rebounds per game in Las Vegas (in 20 minutes play), same stats in Europe (6 points, 4 rebounds but also 2 blocks per game, in 17 minutes play)
But who is Lucas “Bebe” Nogueira? Firstly, he plays at the Center position, a position that the Raptors are in a desperate need. Apart from Jonas Valanciunas, there is no other player at a requisite height to compete against NBA centers. The veteran Chuck Hayes helped the team last season, but he’s not considered someone who can terrify the opposition players.
So, what we should expect from Nogueira? He will help the team defensively, blocking and contesting shots, and he may score few points. But he’s more focused on his defensive play rather than his offense. He will have the opportunity to play more than expected, due to the lack of the position in our roster, but if he can manage to reach Jonas Valanciunas 1st season stats (9ppg and 6rpg) it would be a pleasant surprise. Few years ago, he was compared to Joakim Noah or Samuel Dalembert. He is still an ongoing project. He has a lot of potential, mostly due to his length, but he hadn’t showed it yet. He has to work on his and the whole team plays, understand his role, and he has to work out in order to build up his body. 220 lbs for a 7footer isn’t enough for NBA.
He will have the opportunity this year to show everybody if he has a position in this league. All that he needs is to grab it.