The Raptors surprise first round draft pick Bruno Caboclo was at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto on Saturday and Pro Ball Report caught up with NBA TV Canada’s ‘The Hangout’ Host Akil Augustine to get his first impressions of the Raptors newest rookie after watching Caboclo workout and answer questions from the media.
Akil Augustine audio:
“Long, young and honestly I judge everything kind of like I judge human beings – his smile speaks a lot to me,” Augustine said. “Despite all the negative things being said about him, the pressure, the situation, the new environment, he was even keeled, he had a smile and enjoyed the moment. He stayed present. As a basketball guy, you are looking for a basketball player and what I saw was a really young kid who is really, really long and we saw him shoot some jump shots – his jump shot looks all right. He has to get it a little quicker for the NBA and you never really know what someone’s jump shot will look like when you have a defender running up – a defender of equal size, strength and so on, but from the sample size I’ve been given to look at, I haven’t seen anything glaringly atrocious or would send me running the other direction saying we made the wrong choice, so Bruno Caboclo looks like a very talented young basketball player who is light on experience.
“I think the big difference here is the United States media allows you to find out so much about these kids where it’s thru Hoopshype, Slam Magazine, ESPN, all the mock drafts, the New York Times High School 100, those (high school) kids are on the radar from very early. The trick with Bruno was if he was a Brazilian soccer player, we’d have known about him 17 years ago if he’s 18, but being a Brazilian basketball player is a bit of a different animal. A kid like (Caboclo), If he was in the United States, he would be in the lines of the Michael Beaselys, the Shabazz Muhammads, the Bill Walkers, the kids that you talk about through their high school career, but simply being Brazilian and coming from Sao Paolo, a place that there aren’t a lot of cameras – he didn’t have a TV in his house until he was 17 – you are not going to find out a lot about kids like that. Ten years ago or even in this day and age, if Bruno Caboclo was an American player and Americans were aware of him, he would probably not have been at 20.
“He is freakish long. His hands are Kawhi Leonard type – obviously without the strength, but just looking at the framework, the bone whatever it is – I’m being an doctor here, but the kid looks long, he looks athletic and he can move. A lot of times when you get a young guy – I’m not sure what his growth spurts have been like, but young guys that grow quickly kind of have awkward movement – he is a pretty fluid guy, his gait is good and that should tell you a lot about what he can physically do on a basketball court.”
You can follow Akil Augustine on Twitter @AkilAugustine