Not wanting to set the standards too high too soon, we’re still waiting on the Toronto Raptors Bruno Caboclo to break out at the NBA D-League level. No one is asking the 20th pick of the 2014 Draft to be ready to contribute at the NBA level, but it would provide some measure of reassurance if he could start dominating with the 905.
In the long list of players that have suited up for the Raptors 905 this season, Caboclo ranks 10th in scoring, 6th in rebounding, 7th in steals and 3rd in blocks.
And, if you were to look for any statistical improvement over his previous season in Mississauga, you wouldn’t find it.
. 2015-16 2016-17
Points 14.7 9.6
Rebounds 6.5 5.3
Assists 1.7 1.2
Steals 1.1 1.0
Blocks 1.8 1.5
FG% 40.3% 40.8%
3FG% 33.5% 32.0%
There’s the excuse that head coach Jerry Stackhouse is asking Caboclo to play more at small forward this year and cutting his minutes back a bit as winning is a bigger priority than last year, but those would be excuses for an NBA prospect in his third season playing in the D-League.
For all the outstanding performances from Caboclo like when he swatted a Raptors 905 club record 7 blocks in his 2016-17 debut while adding 17 points and 10 boards, he still disappears often enough to become a very average D-League player who isn’t taking full advantage of his remarkable natural gifts.
Caboclo ranks outside of the top 100 D-League players in scoring and outside of the top 50 in three-point shooting and rebounding. It’s hard not to blame his lack of progress for Caboclo becoming a forgotten man in Toronto.
He’s not forgotten in Mississauga, however, where he has been a regular in the starting lineup for two seasons now and the Raptors are pretty much forced in trying to get him to figure it out. Toronto picked up his option for next year prior to the start of this season.
“Everybody here loves (Caboclo),” 905 head coach Jerry Stackhouse said at the start of the season. “It’s my job. Masai (Ujiri) does a great job of identifying talent and he feels like Bruno is going to be a great player in this league (the NBA) and it’s our job to make sure that he does it.”
Was two years away from being two years away optimistic? It’s looking like Stackhouse will still be trying to make sure Caboclo “does it” next year.