Raptors draft Bruno Caboclo 20th overall


Umm…. What?

With their first pick in the 2014 Draft, the Raptors have selected Bruno Caboclo – a Brazilian power forward who was described on the broadcast as the “Brazilian Kevin Durant.”

That said, he was also described as “2 years away from being 2 years away” and was NOWHERE near the first round on anybody’s mock, much less the 20th pick. To say this pick is a shock is the understatement of understatements.

I’m going to quickly preface my reaction by saying that I am in the majority of Raptors fans on this one. I know NOTHING about Caboclo, and he wasn’t anyone I’d even heard in the mix for the Raptors’ second round picks. That said, the Raptors could have moved down in the draft if they’d wanted to, and so there must have been some rumblings that someone was planning on taking him between 20 and the Raptors’ next pick at 36.

Caboclo is 18 years old, 6 foot 9, and 200 pounds, according to ESPN, and was Chad Ford’s number 65 overall prospect coming into the draft, and the number 18 international prospect via DraftExpress. Here he is in action, via YouTube:

Ford’s analysis (ESPN Insider):

This is Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri doing what he does. He’s a gambler and not afraid to take huge risks. Cabacolo has a 7-foot-7 wingspan, can shoot it and reminds some scouts of Giannis Antetokoumpo. He’s far away from being able to play in the NBA, but credit Ujiri for swinging for the fences.


Link to a profile of Caboclo distributed by the Raptors

What I gather from all of this is that Caboclo is a raw prospect with a capital R, a capital A, and a capital W. The guy has incredible measurements (7 foot 7 wingspan??) and you can see where the Kevin Durant comparisons come from, body-wise, but we’re talking about a the lottery ticket of all lottery tickets here.

This being said – like Ford stated in his instant reaction, this is an Ujiri kind of pick. The NBA is a superstar driven league, and there is an argument behind taking any player who has even a sliver of a chance to become one in time – remember how high Masai was on the Greek Freak last season. It’s not much solace for fans who were hoping to see the Raptors use their 20th pick to add an instant contributor to what is already a very competitive core, but I suppose it is something.

According to the media, Caboclo will indeed be with the Raptors next season, and it’ll be interesting to see what he’s able to bring to the team from day 1. If his first season even remotely approaches Greek Freak levels, expect fanboy love to be at an all-time high in Toronto. Of course, that’s a tall ask.

More to come from RR tonight as the draft rolls on, and there’ll certainly be much more reaction tomorrow once we’ve had time to let this sit for a while. For now, though, sit tight, cross your fingers, and say a quiet prayer to whatever Ujiri shrine you have set up in your living area.

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