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Caboclo and Nogueira

Head Coach Says Raptors 905 Is A Huge Advantage For Toronto

Last year the Toronto Raptors sent rookie Bruno Caboclo to Fort Wayne of the NBA D-League and the experience visibly crushed his confidence. The Mad Ants weren’t interested in developing a teenager and he sat as a DNP-CD for most of his time there. Raptors 905 head coach Jesse Mermuys is understandably working under a different set of criteria. Now when Raptors head coach Dwane Casey sends a player to the D-League he knows his guys are going to play. Owning a D-League team is a huge advantage for Toronto when it comes to developing players.

Raptors 905 coach Jesse Mermuys

“That’s why MLSE did an amazing job, Masai (Ujiri) and everybody, of getting this team to give these guys a chance to play and learn from their mistakes and get consistency to their game,” Mermuys told Pro Bball Report.

“The plan is to help Lucas (Nogueira), Bruno (Caboclo), Delon (Wright), guys that might come down here and be assigned give them experience so that they are not just sitting around watching up there (on the Raptors) all the time and then get guys that we have a liking to to get them under our umbrella. Guys like Ronald Roberts, guys like Sim (Bhullar), guys that we like, let’s develop them as well and who knows, maybe they’ll end up getting on the actual Raptors team some day in the future.”

What this means for the rest of the roster is it doesn’t matter how well you are playing, if the Raptors send down a player at your position, he’s playing and you’re sitting. The Raptors 905 exists solely for the benefit of the Raptors.

“To be able to manage expectations, you have to communicate openly and honestly on a daily basis with your team,” Mermuys explained. “I plan on being as raw, open and honest as I possibly can and let (the players) understand the reasons why – here’s the situation. I have already explained to Shannon (Scott) in front of the team, you can be getting a triple-double down here, (but) if Delon (Wright) comes down, he is going to play and that’s okay because that is why we all are here and have this opportunity.”

As a Raptors assistant coach and head coach of the Raptors Summer League team, Mermuys has a leg up on developing the Raptors rookies and sophomores when they get sent down. Both Caboclo and Nogueira know and respect Mermuys and are even looking forward to playing for him.

“It’s always nice to have a familiarity you know,” Mermuys said. “Being able to coach Bruno (Caboclo) and Lucas (Nogueira) now two summers in a row should pay dividends for us this season. Obviously we want them playing for the Raptors at a high level, but until they reach that point in their development, this is the next best thing for them and we are just going to keep trying to keep them on an uptick, keep improving until they reach their goal.

“Right now (Nogueira) is a talented guy. He is still a young guy, so it’s just about getting consistency and to get consistency, you got to play. You need that game experience and that is what this whole opportunity is going to provide for him.

“Obviously I can’t tell you how long (it will take Caboclo to develop), but I do know he works really hard. He wants it really bad which is the main thing and now that he is going to get an opportunity to play major minutes and play through mistakes and have these growing pains and learning experiences – who knows? This should really speed up the process.

“If you just take (Caboclo) from summer to summer, he has come a long ways. Now that’s not obviously close enough for the NBA – playing on a consistent basis, but he is making big strides. Just to see that improvement is exciting for us as an organization. Now we are adding the 905 experience for him, it should really help him out. I am pretty sure he is really excited to come down here and play.”

It’s going to be exciting for the fans in Mississauga to see Caboclo, Nogueira, Wright and possibly Norman Powell play for the Raptors 905 as well. It would be reasonable to expect one or two of these young players to be regularly featured on Toronto’s D-League team if they aren’t getting minutes with the big club. Fans can be assured they’ll be playing when they are in Mississauga as well. The “D” in D-League stands for development and these are the guys the Raptors want developed.

“We are really going to do the best we can as a coaching staff to keep development at the forefront of our mind game in and game out,” Mermuys said. “As long as we are not sacrificing development of our players and our young players in our organization for wins, we want to try and do both (win and develop), but sometimes you can’t do both.”

The Raptors 905 home opener is on November 19th. It will be interesting to see how long it takes before one or more of the players the Raptors are trying to develop arrive. It shouldn’t take long.

 

 

 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

 

 

 

 

NBA Toronto Raptors Lucas Nogueira sitting

At 42 lbs Bigger Lucas Nogueira Needs The Raptors 905

The tall, thin, bouncy center who was playing for Estudiantes of the Spanish league two years ago hardly looks like the same player as he starts his second season with the Toronto Raptors. The 23-year-old bulked up considerably over the summer and is now listed at 241 lbs. The change was deliberate. Lucas Nogueira believed he needed the extra strength to compete in the NBA, but it has come at the cost of some of his bounce. The kid who has pictures on his phone of him coming within inches of the top of the backboard can only just comfortably dunk now.

Lucas Nogueira interview

“Honestly, I don’t have the bounce of three, four years ago,” Nogueira told Pro Bball Report. “From last year to this year I put on 42 lbs. It’s a lot, so I don’t think my body is ready yet to run and jump like two, three, four years ago when I was 180-200 lbs. Alex (McKechnie, director sports science) and Jon Lee (strength and conditioning coach), they make me get better, use my body to get stronger and still run and jump like two years ago, but I am a very tall and long guy, so this makes for easy dunks. A couple of years ago I had a good bounce, but (now) I don’t have the same bounce compared to last year.”

Nogueira knows he needs to play and if he isn’t going to get time in Toronto, he is enthusiastic about getting minutes in Mississauga with the Raptors 905.

“For sure I am going to have more playing time because they have a D-League team,” Nogueira said. “I just have to figure out where I’ll have playing time, here or there in Mississauga. Last year I was sent to the D-League and had great games because I took the D-League as an opportunity to get better. A lot of guys took the D-League as a punishment and that’s why they didn’t have success in the D-League. The D-League is very competitive because everybody is trying to make the (NBA), so if you (go to) the D-League (with the wrong attitude), you aren’t going to get better, you aren’t going to play well, but if you go there like it’s an opportunity to develop my game and if I play well they’ll bring me back to the (NBA). So if I go to the D-League this year, I will have the same mind-set as last year.”

A big difference between this year and last is the Raptors have their their own D-League franchise that is coached by one of Raptors head coach Dwane Casey’s assistants. There will be no DNP-CDs for players the Raptors send to Mississauga or changes in philosophy or style of play. Raptors 905 head coach Jesse Mermuys will be running the same offensive and defensive sets as Casey, plus Mermuys goal is player development and getting guys ready for Casey to use.

“We are not going to sacrifice the development of our players for wins and losses,” Mermuys said. “That’s easier said than done. We will try to win every single game that we can and we want to win a championship of course, but we have to keep the big picture in mind.”

“Jesse probably (will run) the same offense and defense,” Nogueira said. “I think Jesse is a great coach and he has made a good decision because he probably is going to try and be a head coach in the future. If he wants to be a head coach in the future, he needs to be a head coach in the D-League, so I think it is a good choice for him. We are going to miss him (in Toronto) because he is a very smart coach and he helps the team a lot, but I think he made a good decision. I think he is going to help me if I go to the D-League.”

Nogueira is the Raptors third string center, but he is really seventh among the big men Casey has available. There will be a lot of DNP-CDs in Nogueira’s immediate future in Toronto. However, he is a player that seems to ooze with potential. A true 7-footer with a 7’6 wingspan, he is a natural rim protector and potential vacuum of loose balls and rebounds. The Raptors just need to find out if Nogueira can put those gifts to use on an NBA court and Nogueira needs the Raptors 905 to hone his skills, learn the Raptors sets and get ready for the day his opportunity arrives.

 

 

 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

 

 

 

 

Lucas Nogueira head shot closeup

Lucas Nogueira Swats Away Rockets As Raptors Win Again

Raptors center Lucas Nogueira swatted away four shot attempts and ripped down a game-high 13 rebounds as Toronto overcame a 10 point first quarter deficit caused by 11 early turnovers and then a Rockets push in the dying minutes of the game to come away with the 95-87 win. Houston pulled to within two points with just under two minutes left in the contest, but could not complete the comeback.

Delon Wright missed the game with a sore hamstring and it showed early on as the Raptors were beyond sloppy and it seemed like everyone was turning the ball over without Toronto’s starting point guard to steady the ship. The Rockets climbed into a 24-14 lead off of their 8 first quarter steals, however, the Raptors found their poise and sparkling defense to vault back into the lead during the second quarter.

It was Team Canada’s Philip Scrubb who lead the second quarter scoring for Toronto with 7 of his 10 points on the night as the Raptors went 12 players deep into their roster in order to turn this game around and take a 41-36 lead into the half.

The Raptors powered out to an 18 point lead on a 15-2 run to open the third quarter, starting point guard Gary Talton finally finding his composure and scoring 6 quick points. Talton finished the game with 13 points and 6 rebounds, but only 1 assist to 2 turnovers. Team Canada center Jordan Bachynski scored 5 of his 9 points and grabbed 3 of his 5 boards in the third.

It was at this point Glen Rice took over for Houston and almost led his team all the way back. Rice scored 22 of his 28 points after Toronto was up by 18. Rice finished shooting 7-18 from the field and 11-11 from the charity stripe.

Once again it was Norman Powell who led the Raptors in scoring with 19 points on 7-11 shooting to go with 5 rebounds, a steal and 2 blocked shots. Powell has owned Summer League through the first three games. He’s been spectacular on offense and defense.

Bruno Caboclo’s offense slipped again, this time shooting just 1-8 from three-point range and scoring only 7 points. However, he did get 5 boards, a steal and a block.

Toronto owned the glass in this contest out-rebounding Houston 52-34 and once again their defensive focus was in full effect as the Rockets shot just 33.8 percent from the field. The Raptors Summer League team mirroring what Toronto hopes to be able to do once the real season starts in October.

 

 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

 

 

 

Luis Scola faces leftLuis Scola Is Ready To Chase A Ring With The Raptors

“I wanted to win,” Scola said. “I wanted to find a place where I could win and be a part of the team, be important. I was trying to get options to see how close to a ring could I get, but I was also trying to be part of a team.”

 

 

NBA Toronto Raptors Lucas Nogueira

Lucas Nogueira Has A Plan To Stick With The Raptors

It’s been a rough rookie season for the Raptors young center with the outgoing personality and the wild hair. Lucas ‘Bebe’ Nogueira has gone through a litany of minor injuries that have kept him out of the lineup and even impacted his ability to get playing time in the NBA D-League. However, Nogueira believes he has figured out what he needs to do to stick in the NBA. He has an idea of what went wrong and a plan for what he needs to do next. His brief recent stint with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants only served to reinforce those observations as he put up some big numbers doing what he does best.

“(The D-League) was an amazing experience except I got hurt again,” Nogueira told Pro Bball Report. “(It) was really like (NBA) Summer League. You really got to run because there are a lot of young players, athletic players and they want to come to the League, so they want to show. People think the D-League is b#llsh!t games, but no, especially for me – I have a contract in the NBA – so they want to show me they deserve my contract, so every player, they want to kill me, show they deserve my contract. So every game I take like a challenge and I am happy because I did great. It was a very hard challenge for me because every game is a tough game. A lot of up and down because people want to (fight for) a contract to come to the (NBA). (It was) a great experience.”

Nogueira wasn’t injury free before coming to the NBA, but he has never experienced anything quite like what has been happening this season. It’s been frustrating and he has been searching for answers. Hopefully, he has found a solution.

“I never had a problem with injuries (before), but NBA is a different game,” Nogueira said. “It is more physical than in Spain, in Europe, so when you play a physical game – I spoke with a couple of doctors and therapy guys in Brazil and France and they told me,

“Lucas probably because your body, after seven years in Spain, the NBA is a very different game, way more physical, maybe your body is not ready. There’s been a lot of change in your life, playing in Europe and now the NBA, maybe this is why you don’t have (big injuries), but smaller injuries like torn muscles – maybe your body needs to get stronger to handle (things) because it is a completely different game from Spain.”

Nogueira has that long lanky seven foot frame with arms that go forever and it’s possible he never really felt pushed to improve his body while in Europe. The 22-year-old is listed at 225 lbs and he doesn’t look any heavier than that. There is plenty of opportunity for him to add a little bulk and get stronger over the off season.

“This offseason will be more special because I got hurt again, so I have to figure out what I will do with my body, but it’s nothing secret,” Nogueira said. “I am a rookie so there are a lot of places like LA, Vegas, Houston, New York City, Vancouver to do workouts, a lot of camps, a lot of individual workouts. It’s not a secret. I will take my summer to figure out what’s going on with my body and (find out) why I got hurt and what I need to improve. Right now I just want to see why I tear my muscle every time – this is not the first time.

“The most important thing for me right now is to get stronger. If I get stronger, I can hold the players in the post and I think if I get stronger, I can stop these injuries.”

Nogueira arrived in Toronto with a skill set the Raptors were looking for. When healthy, he can run the floor like a guard, sky above the rim like a wing, and he has the length and mobility to be an effective rim protector. Those things come naturally, but he has to stay healthy enough to get on a court in either the NBA or the D-League so he can learn the NBA game.

This will be a huge summer for the Brazilian. He turns 23 in July and by the time next season is over, he’ll need to have shown that all that natural talent can be turned into something effective at an NBA level. He needs to stay healthy enough to play.

 

 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

 photo credit Paul Saini Fylmm.com

 

 

 
Caboclo 2

Was Raptors Bruno Caboclo Hurt By His D-League Experience?

“I learned only mental (aspects) because I didn’t play a lot of minutes,” Caboclo said. “They had a lot of old(er) guys and they helped me. I had games where I was not playing, like five games, zero minutes. It is hard working but not playing, but this is the process.”

 

 

 

TOR Nogueira and Amir Johnson

Raptors Amir Johnson Says Lucas Nogueira Will Do Damage

The Toronto Raptors rookie center Lucas ‘Bebe’ Nogueira hasn’t seen much time in the NBA, but with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA D-League recently, the 22-year-old from Brazil has been showing off his natural abilities and the results have been impressive.

Over his first three games Nogueira has averaged a double-double 11 points and 13 rebounds in 25.7 minutes plus 2.7 blocks and a steal. He kicked things off with a massive 18 point, 19 rebound and 4 block effort in his first D-League game.

 

 

Nogueira was all over the court in his first game with the Mad Ants, putting up 18 shots and getting to the free throw line 11 times, but the rust of not playing showed through as he shot just 39 percent from the field and 36.4 percent from the charity stripe. His shot attempts came way down in his next two games, but he hit on 50 percent of his next 10 attempts and connected on 5-7 from the stripe. Nogueira also totaled 20 more boards, 3 more steals and 4 more blocks. In all, a very solid performance playing with teammates he hadn’t met before in a system he didn’t know.

Evaluating non-NBA performances is difficult, however, the Raptors starting power forward Amir Johnson has been watching and practicing with Nogueira all season. Johnson sees a lot of potential for Nogueira once the young center figures out the NBA game.

“He has been injured a couple of times and it’s good to get a feel out there in the Development League and get some run,” Johnson explained. “Then when he gets back here, he is definitely going to work hard. He has been working hard with us all season, early in practice, stays after and comes in late at night and he is going to have his chance and he is going to do some damage because he is a unique player. Mentally I think he has to learn the NBA. Learn where to be in his spots, but he is definitely going to be something great.

“He is long. He can run the floor. You can’t beat a seven-footer, a seven-footer is always going to do some damage no matter where he plays.

“He shoots in practice. He just has to keep shooting because you never know when you are going to make it.”

Nogueira showed promise as a big-time shot blocker and rebounder over the past two seasons in Spain although injuries hampered his progress last year as well. The highlight reel NBA D-League performance is indicative of his ability to fly around the court and play above the rim at both ends of the floor. If Nogueira can stay healthy and figure out the NBA game, the Raptors could have someone exciting for next season already buried on their bench.

 

 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

 

 

 

Caboclo and Nogueira

Raptors Initiate Rookies Bruno Caboclo And Lucas Nogueira

Rookie initiation in the NBA is alive and well – and in good fun.

Jonas Valanciunas was hinting something was about to go down after the Raptors home game versus the Celtics and it didn’t take very long for Bruno Caboclo and Lucas Nogueira to get inducted into something similar to Valanciunas’ own rookie experience.

 

 

One is left to wonder if those hats will last as long as Valanciunas’ Bart Simpson backpack?

 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

 

 

Lucas Nogueira head shot closeupLucas Nogueira Is Not Quite Ready To Play For The Raptors

“I am feeling very good, better than two or three weeks ago, but I am not ready yet,” said Lucas Nogueira.

 

 

Lucas Nogueira head shot closeup

Lucas Nogueira Is Not Quite Ready To Play For The Raptors

When the Toronto Raptors traded John Salmons earlier this summer, they received a young unsigned former first round draft pick back in addition to the veteran Lou Williams. The long lanky center Lucas ‘Bebe’ Nogueira is a potential shot swatting machine who looked good as a reserve in Spain’s top league, however, a serious nagging groin injury has left him not quite ready to play for the Raptors in preseason games. Fortunately, his return to action shouldn’t be very far off.

 


“I am feeling very good, better than two or three weeks ago, but I am not ready yet,” Nogueira said. “So I still work hard every day without the core and practice a little bit with the team, but I am not ready yet to compete in the games. I do my extra exercises, cardio, everything to get better health and stronger.”

Nogueira looks good when he’s on the court and participating in pregame warm-ups, however, that only makes things more frustrating for the young big man because he knows he can’t play yet.

“I can warm up,” Nogueira said. “This is the worst experience of my life. Warm up with the team, do everything and the coach sees you, but I see the doctors and the doctors say, no you can’t play.

“I think for me, this is the best and worst experience. The best because this is my dream coming true, the first year in the NBA and worst because I can’t help my team.”

Nogueira followed the NBA draft this summer so he knew Toronto had selected fellow Brazilian Bruno Caboclo in the first round and had some idea about the team he had just been traded to. He was pretty happy to be going to a team with someone else from Brazil on it.

“I knew Bruno (Caboclo) was selected by Toronto, so when they traded me, I knew about where I was going, so I was so happy,” Nogueira said. “He is a young man who has a little bit of experience in Brazil with professional teams, an amazing talent.

“I have a little bit of experience in Europe, so my goal is to help myself, but (also) help (Caboclo) to be the best player he can be.”

While Nogueira is a rookie in the NBA, the 22-year-old has been playing professional ball at a high level for a couple of seasons, however, he recognizes the difference between playing in Spain and playing in the NBA.

“Before there was a lot of difference, but every year a lot of American guys go to Spain,” Nogueira said. “Because free agents here that don’t have a team in the NBA, so they go there or talented players in the NCAA don’t have a chance and come there, so every year the league in Spain starts to compete like the NBA. It’s impossible to be the same, but they start to have the same game – fast and stronger. They don’t have a lot of strong athletic guys like here, but every team has a couple of guys like the NBA, so the league is hard and strong.”

Raptors President and General Manager, Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri recognizes Spain (ACB league) as a good place for young NBA hopefuls to develop their game and work on their physical skills.

“Nogueira can block shots and he’s played in the in the ACB which is the second best league in the world,” Ujiri told Pro Bball Report. “He played a good role there when he was healthy. He is a big player that is very mobile and can protect the rim and he can rebound. His body is still a-ways-a-way, but we’ll get him there. Contributing consistently, he’s still a-ways-a-way, but we plan to develop him.”

“I have a lot of advantages because I have a 7’5 wingspan and I can jump, so I am huge,” Nogueira said. “But NBA has a lot of guys like me and I never played in the NBA, so I hope to (be able to) do the same things that I did in Spain.”

It has been rough on Nogueira personally since joining his teammates ahead of training camp because of the groin injury. He has been limited in what he has been able to do and groin injuries are notoriously tricky to recover from. Nogueira has experienced good days and bad days, but his teammates have become his family away from home and this very outgoing big man has the support he needs while recovering.

“I feel like (my teammates are) my family,” Nogueira said. “I spend (more time) here than with my family. My family is in Brazil. So (my teammates) give me support to become a very good player. They help me because nobody has good days every day, so when I have my bad days, they help me. So, I feel at home right now.”

It is a good sign to see Nogueira in the pregame warm up drills and feeling better, however, the Raptors will not rush him back early. Listed as day-to-day, Nogueira is still not quite ready to play, but really that only leaves another thing for Raptors fans to look forward to this season.

 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

 

 

 

TOR_Nogueria b&w

Raptors Rookie Lucas ‘Bebe’ Nogueira Has Serious Groin Strain

The Toronto Raptors rookie center Lucas ‘Bebe’ Nogueira has a serious groin strain as reported by Raptors Republic.

“He’s got a very serious strain, a groin strain,” Raptors Head Coach Dwane Casey said. “It’s for real. The MRI showed us. It’s a very tedious thing. What we don’t want to do is rush him back where he re-injures it and then he’s out for another eight weeks or something. It’s something we have to be very careful with.”

 

Groin strains are notoriously tricky injuries to deal with and can linger for months if not treated properly.  Expect Bebe to see some significant time off to ensure he gets back to 100 percent before testing it out in game action.

 

 

 

TOR_Nogueria b&w

Toronto Raptors Finally Sign Rookie Lucas Nogueira

It took over a month since the Raptors acquired the draft rights to Lucas Nogueira from the Atlanta Hawks, but President and General Manager, Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri finally fulfilled the promise of getting his 7’ rookie center bought out from Asefa Estudiantes in Spain and inked to a new contract.

“We are looking to bring Bebe, Lucas Nogueira, to sign him,” Ujiri said last month. “We are trying to figure that out.”

Nogueira has played in the ACB with Estudiantes since 2009 and averaged 6.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks during the 2013-2014 season. He had nine games with two or more blocks.

The native of Sao Goncalo, Brazil averaged 9.6 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.9 blocks in 8 games at the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championships.  Nogueira is joining follow rookie Brazilian Bruno Caboclo on the Raptors.

In the 2014 NBA Summer League with Toronto, Nogueira averaged 5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 0.6 steals, 0.6 blocks and 20.4 minutes over 5 games.

Nogueira, 7’, 220 lbs, was selected 16th overall by the Boston Celtics in 2013. His draft rights were then traded to Dallas and on to Atlanta. Nogueira returned to Estudiantes last season after playing for the Hawks Summer League team.

 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

 

 

Raptors Logo photo

Raptors Buyout Of Lucas Nogueira From Estudiantes Is Close

The Toronto Raptors are closing in on completing the buyout of center Lucas Nogueira from Asefa Estudiantes much to the disappointment of several top Eurloeague teams that had hoped to acquire the ACB top defensive player from last season as reported by Javier Maestro on encestando.es. (translated)

“Until this week there has been much uncertainty. So much that even Barcelona, ​​Real Madrid and Valencia Basket called to inquire about his situation.

Except for a last minute surprise that is no longer expected,(Nogueira) will pay his buyout and sign with the Toronto Raptors.

The NBA exit clause for Nogueira is 600,000 euros as set 13 months ago, when the center was taken in the 2016 draft by the Atlanta Hawks. As franchises can only add about $ 550,000 to buy players under contract in Europe according to NBA rules, the rest should be paid the Brazilian.”

 

In early July Raptors President and General Manager, Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri confirmed his team was working hard to get the buyout completed.  Obviously the process which has yet to be finalized has taken a little longer than expected to complete.

“We are looking to bring Bebe, Lucas Nogueira, to sign him,” Ujiri said. “We are trying to figure that out.

“Nogueira can block shots and he’s played in the in the ACB which is the second best league in the world. He played a good role there when he was healthy. He is a big player that is very mobile and can protect the rim and he can rebound. His body is still a-ways-a-way, but we’ll get him there. Contributing consistently, he’s still a-ways-a-way, but we plan to develop him.

“He has recovered from (knee tendonitis). Right now we are just trying to figure out how to get him cleared. He had a little calf incident before he came, but other than that he’s been working out and we hope to get him going soon.”

Nicknamed Bebe, Nogueira is from Sao Goncalo, Brazil and has played for Asefa Estudiantes in Spain since 2009. Typical of how European teams develop young players, Nogueira had to fight for minutes and he only averaged 13.6 minutes and 16.6 minutes over the past two seasons respectively. He did, however, make an impact by blocking shots and finishing at a very high percentage around the hoop. Last season he shot over 70 percent from the field and his 1.6 blocks translates to almost 4 blocks per 40 minutes.

In Summer League with Toronto, Nogueira averaged 5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 0.6 steals, 0.6 blocks and 20.4 minutes over 5 games.  His presence at Summer League was doubtful because of a calf injury he suffered after the end of his season in Spain, however, he was cleared in time to participate.

 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

 

 

Before the Presser

Raptors Prospect Lucas Nogueira On His Way To Real Madrid?

Raptors rookie prospect Lucas Nogueira was recently acquired in a trade with the Hawks and has been playing on Toronto’s Summer League team in Las Vegas, however, the young center was still under contract with Asefa Estudiantes in Spain for one more season at the time of the trade and there was always a risk that his 600,000 € buyout would get in the way of his coming to the NBA this season.

After Summer League wrapped up, Nogueira sent out a disturbing tweet to those who had hopes of seeing him in a Raptors uniform anytime soon.

That opportunity was supposed to be in October, not in July and DefensaCentral.com has reported that all may not be going well with the Raptors anticipated buyout of Nogueira’s contract.

“Real Madrid has been heavily involved in the bid for Lucas Nogueira, (a young center) that is challenging the NBA summer league with the Toronto Raptors. The franchise will not pay the player (buyout) clause at the moment and there are three Spanish clubs who bid for his talent Real Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia.” (translated)

It was expected that the Raptors would buyout Nogueira’s contract as the reported amount is well within the usual range of transactions that get completed, however, it was reported Asefa Estudiantes had interest in Nogueira’s contract from Euroleague teams after their season ended and returning to play another season in Spain was always a possibility.

There has been nothing official from the Raptors on this topic other than an earlier confirmation that a deal with Nogueira had not been completed prior to the start of Summer League.

Nogueira only averaged 16.6 minutes per game last season with Asefa Estudiantes and another year in Spain with more playing time on a better club team would undoubtedly help improve his skills and play.

There will certainly be more news on this situation in the near future.

 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

 

 

NBA Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri

Raptors Working Hard To Get Rookie Lucas Nogueira Signed

Lucas Nogueira was still under contract for one more season with Asefa Estudiantes in Spain when the Raptors traded for him and although he has already played in one NBA Summer League game with Toronto, the team has yet to be able to announce they have got his name on a contract.

Last year Nogueira played for the Hawks Summer League team after being drafted 16th overall and despite a solid showing, he wasn’t able to arrange playing in the NBA that season. This year his buyout is more manageable and the Raptors are working hard to complete the process of purchasing his rights according to Vavel, The International Sports Newspaper (translated).

“The Toronto Raptors will pay clause (buyout for) Lucas Nogueira (600,000 €)”

Raptors President and General Manager Masai Ujiri confirms the team is trying to get Nogueira signed. He sees the 7-footer as a shot blocker that can rebound and has last year’s injury problems behind him.

Masai Ujiri audio:

 

“We are looking to bring Bebe, Lucas Nogueira, to sign him,” Ujiri said. “We are trying to figure that out.

“Nogueira can block shots and he’s played in the in the ACB which is the second best league in the world. He played a good role there when he was healthy. He is a big player that is very mobile and can protect the rim and he can rebound. His body is still a-ways-a-way, but we’ll get him there. Contributing consistently, he’s still a-ways-a-way, but we plan to develop him.

“He has recovered from (knee tendonitis). Right now we are just trying to figure out how to get him cleared. He had a little calf incident before he came, but other than that he’s been working out and we hope to get him going soon.”

With the Hawks 2013 NBA Summer League team, Nogueira averaged 6.4 points on 62.5 percent shooting, 6 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 2.4 blocks in 21.8 minutes. Last season in the ACB, he shot over 70 percent from the field and averaged 1.6 blocks in 16.6 minutes.

 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

 

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Raptors Summer League Team Will Be Fun To Watch
This year’s Toronto Raptors NBA Summer League team is going to be fun to watch. The 7’ Lucas Nogueira tore up Summer League with the Hawks last year blocking everything in sight. The 18-year-old Bruno Caboclo 7’6 wingspan is just as long as Nogueira and this very young talent will have his moments in Summer League. DeAndre Daniels is fighting for an NBA job and this is really his only shot to convince Raptors GM Masai Ujiri to keep him in Toronto next season.

 

Raptors Logo photo

Raptors Newest Rookie Prospect Lucas Nogueira

The Raptors newest rookie prospect hasn’t officially joined the team yet, however, by all accounts the 7’ shot blocking Lucas Nogueira has more going for him than outstanding hair. How the 16th pick of the 2013 NBA Draft acquired by the Atlanta Hawks from the Celtics burst onto the NBA scene on draft night is easy to remember.

Lucas ‘Bebe’ Nogueira shows off his Afro on draft night!

Nicknamed Bebe, Nogueira is from Sao Goncalo, Brazil and has been playing for Asefa Estudiantes in Spain. He joined the Junior team in 2009 before moving up to play in the Spanish ACB league in 2011-12. Typical of how European teams develop young players, Nogueira had to fight for minutes and he only averaged 13.6 minutes and 16.6 minutes over the past two seasons respectively. He did, however, make an impact by blocking shots and finishing at a very high percentage around the rim. Last season he shot over 70 percent from the field and his 1.6 blocks translates to almost 4 blocks per 40 minutes.

His ability to be effective in the paint was on full display with the Hawks at the 2013 NBA Summer League where he averaged 6.4 points on 62.5 percent shooting, 6 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 2.4 blocks in 21.8 minutes.

Lucas Nogueira’s Summer League Block Party

It’s obvious from the video Bebe is long. The 7-footer has a 7’6 wingspan and the long lanky frame is slowly beginning to fill out now that he is almost 22-years-old. There is still plenty of work to do on his body, but it is pretty obvious he has a fair amount of natural shot blocking talent.

Eric Freeman of The Ball Don’t Lie lamented the fact Nogueira didn’t stick with Atlanta seeing him as possibly one of the most enjoyable prospects to watch last summer.

it’s still a bummer for North American fans, if only because Nogueira looked like a player with the opportunity to become one of the most enjoyable players in 2013’s relatively unexciting rookie class. No part of this development will bar him from becoming that, of course, but the process has been delayed. We all know that it takes time for rookies to develop into their full selves, but the instant gratification of seeing them in NBA uniforms often feels like a right, not a privilege. Putting off Nogueira’s arrival is a disappointment.

Last season was tough on Nogueira as knee tendonitis and bruising caused him to miss a significant number of games in December through February and spend about 10 weeks getting treatment in the States. Setbacks didn’t hold him back, however, Nogueira still got noticed as Chris Vivlamore of the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently reported,

Nogueira played for Asefa Estudiantes Madrid of the ACB League last season. He left the team for two months to come to the United States for rehabilitation for tendinitis in his knees. In 18 games for Estudiantes he averaged 6.2 points and 4.1 rebounds in 17 minutes. He was named the league’s top defensive player.

Not surprisingly with an affordable buyout in place for the upcoming season, Nogueira has decided he either wants to come to the NBA or play for a bigger club team in Europe.

Hawks’ first-round draft pick Lucas Nogueira is currently working out in Atlanta following the end of his Spanish League season last month. Nogueira, who is expected to play with the Hawks in the Las Vegas Summer League in July, still has one year remaining on his contract with Estudiantes.

Buyouts for Nogueira’s contract with Estudiantes have been reported in the $600,000 to $800,000 range which is an amount easily dealt with by NBA teams under the current rules.

As Nogueira was planning on playing for the Hawks Las Vegas Summer League team, it is logical to assume he will suit up for Toronto now that he has been traded and since Raptors President and General Manager, Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri has been looking for a shot blocker and is willing to develop young talent, it seems likely Nogueira will be in the NBA next season.

 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

 

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Raptors Trade For Lucas Nogueira And Lou Williams

The Raptors President and General Manager, Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri has acquired the shot blocking big man he was thought to be after in the draft except it’s the Hawks 2013 first round draft pick Lucas Nogueira of Sao Goncalo, Brazil who played for Estudiantes in Spain last year.

Ujiri traded John Salmons to the Hawks for Lou Williams and the rights to Nogueira. The Hawks have the right to buy out Salmons for $1 million on June 30 thus creating about $4.5 million of salary cap space for some yet unknown purpose. The Raptors pick up a 21-year-old center and a 27-year-old combo guard on a $5.5 million expiring contract.

 


 

At the 2013 adidas EuroCamp Nogueira measured 7’ 220 lbs with a 7’6 wingspan and a 9’6 standing reach. This kid is long. He has a couple of years playing double-digit minutes in Spain under his belt and will turn 22-years-old in July. Nogueira has lots of potential if he can continue to develop his game, add some strength and stay healthy.

Peachtree Hoops reported that Nogueira missed about half of last season with knee tendinitis. In the 18 games he played last year, Nogueira averaged a career best 6.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, 0.7 steals and 1.6 blocks in 16.6 minutes. Despite having one-year left on his deal with Estudiantes, he was expected to join the Hawks Summer League team. Peachtree Hoops estimated Lucas’ buyout for this season at about $800,000.

After signing a two-year deal with the Hawks in 2012, Williams missed over half the season following ACL surgery, but he returned in mid-November to play in 60 games last year. The 9-year veteran averaged 10.4 points and 3.5 assists in 24.1 minutes for the Hawks and his shooting improved over the season. It’s likely there has now been enough time since his surgery that Williams can continue his usual instant offense role off the bench for Toronto.

Once again Ujiri has managed to trade an asset he didn’t need into future potential.
 
 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.