How will Bruno Caboclo and Ronald Roberts contribute for the Toronto Raptors?


As training camp quickly approaches, there are a few small decisions Toronto Raptors GM Masai Ujiri still has to make about the fringe players vying for a spot on his roster. It is fair to assume that 13 of the 15 roster spots have been solidified, considering the excellent play of Norman Powell during Las Vegas Summer League (LVSM). The front runners for the final roster spots are Ronald Roberts and Bruno Caboclo, leaving Shannon Scott and the other partially-guaranteed players out in the cold. What would the Raptors’ two young bench warmers offer?

Roberts is a power forward with great athleticism and a proven track record of success against weaker players. At 6-8, 225 pounds, Roberts is undersized as an NBA big, but he would hopefully make up for it with his speed and leaping ability. At this point is his career, he figures as a high effort two-way prospect. He runs the floor, hunts for rebounds, and looks to contribute offensively by cutting to the hoop. While his shooting certainly needs work, there is no doubt about Roberts’ dunking ability.

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Throughout 16 games in the D-League, Roberts earned 17.5 points, 11.9 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game. If he cracks the roster this season, he would be used as a tempo player to spark the offence. For this reason, he would likely only get to play when the team goes down by at least 20 points. He would be able to come in, get possessions, and look to get to the rim. He would also get to play if the team were to go up by more than 20 points, but he seems far more useful as a spark-plug, rather than an assurance player.

Caboclo, on the other hand, enters the 2015-16 season with far more mystery. 2014’s 20th overall pick is still a mile away from being consistent NBA producer, though he has shown some chops recently. During LVSM, he averaged 12.0 points and 4.2 assists, shooting 35% from the field and 28% from long-range. He looked more confident than the year before in many aspects of his developing game, including defensive positioning and rebounding. Still, he showed a painful tendency to shoot instantly whenever the ball got in his hands, which was indicative of his nerves. Plus, at 205 pounds, he remains too small to defend or score in the paint at the NBA level.

The Brazilian youngster is still so raw, but this season could bring sparse minutes his way on a consistent basis. Last season, he only played in eight games, during which he averaged just 2.9 minutes per game. Though he has far less polish than Roberts, his role would be similar. He would be played during big leads and deficits, and he would be expected to fight hard, run the court and try to contribute in any way possible.

Overall, both players will likely be around to learn during practices and games. This won’t be a huge season for either, but they will get their chances. The amount of wins the Raptors notch will probably be a major factor towards how often both players play.

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