The Toronto Raptors have announced that Bruno Caboclo and Lucas Nogueira have been sent down to the Raptors 905.
This summer, the Raptors purchased their very own Development League team to help develop young players and ready them for the NBA. The team, which will be based out of Mississauga, Ontario, opens their season on Saturday, November 14th in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Bruno Caboclo was drafted by the Raptors in 2014, with the 20th overall pick. The Brazilian kid was, and is still not NBA-ready. This selection was a huge gamble for Toronto but the Raptors saw loads of talent and potential in Caboclo. The purchase of this D-league team may turn out to be critical in Caboclo's development into an effective NBA player. After spending most of last season in either a suit on the Raptors bench, or in Fort Wayne with the Mad Ants, having a place to play near Toronto will be very nice for Caboclo. Last season, when Caboclo was assigned to the D-League, he was forced to go play with a squad full of other team's prospects, different coaches, and a different system in Fort Wayne. This would have been very tough for a young Brazilian who is still learning how to speak the English language. Now Caboclo has an opportunity to learn from coaches and play with teammates who are still involved with the Raptors' organization. Caboclo will feel much more comfortable and confident this way and hopefully it will translate to a successful development.
Lucas Nogueira, a former 16th overall draft pick by the Boston Celtics, has been a mentor to Bruno, but more so away from basketball. After being traded to the Atlanta Hawks in 2014, Nogueira's rights were then traded to Toronto in a deal that brought him and Lou Williams to the Raptors. Nogueira and Caboclo are both natives of Brazil and while Nogueira can speak both languages quite well, Caboclo is still learning. Nogueira and Caboclo quickly became good friends as members of the Raptors and having the two of them who can work together has made things much easier for both the Raptors and the two players.
Both players have spent very limited time playing in the NBA as they have lots of room for growth. Caboclo, a six-foot-nine-inch small forward, has played a combined 24 minutes in his NBA career for ten points. Nogueira, a seven-foot center, has played just 28 minutes in his career for nine points and 11 rebounds. Caboclo and Nogueira have a very exciting opportunity in Mississauga to get some quality minutes and more importantly, be go-to players that will be integral parts of the system with the Raptors 905.
Caboclo and Nogueira will quick off their season with the Raptors 905 on Saturday in Fort Wayne, at 7:30 EST.