Surprise first-round pick Bruno Caboclo excited for NBA chance

Bruno Caboclo, the Raptors' surprise first-round pick, recently answered a few questions from
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Although he was named the Raptors' general manager one month before the 2013 draft, MasaiUjiri didn't get a chance to select a player because Toronto had no picks. Ujiri made a splash this year, however, surprising the basketball world by using the No. 20 choice on 18-year-old Brazilian small forward Bruno Caboclo, a largely unknown prospect.

Ujiri said the 6-foot-9, 200-pound Caboclo projects to be a solid defender because of his length (7-7 wingspan) and mobility, though he needs to add strength. The youngster also likes to shoot, according to Ujiri, and has deep range on his jump shot.

"He has a chance to hit it big," Toronto coach Dwane Casey told reporters after the draft. "He's probably one of the most athletic guys in the draft -- in fact, I know he is."​

Caboclo​ is expected to play for the Raptors at the Las Vegas Summer League, which begins on July 11.

"This summer is about learning," Ujiri said. "He is a basketball junkie." 

Caboclo recently answered a few questions from How would you describe yourself to NBA fans?

Bruno Caboclo: I love to play basketball. That is all I want to do. I like to play defense, and I like to score. I’m a three-point shooter. I just want to help Toronto.

2014 NBA draft team grades What needs the most improvement?

Caboclo: Everything. I need to work on my overall game. I need to get stronger. Do you expect to play in the NBA this season?

Caboclo: Yes. That is what I hope. How do you plan to prepare for the NBA?

Caboclo: I want to work hard with the coaches and also get stronger. How long have you been playing basketball?

Caboclo: Since I was 13. I was 5-foot-10. I first dunked when I was 14. Were you surprised to be picked No. 20?

Caboclo: I didn’t think about the number. A number of teams showed interest so I didn’t know what to expect. Did you admire a certain player growing up?

Caboclo: I like Kevin Durant. He has the same body as me and I try to copy his game. He is my idol. What would you say to the people who believe the Raptors drafted you too high?

Caboclo: I’m aware I’m coming to a tough league and I’m only 18. With hard work, I hope to cut down the wait and contribute to the team. What are you most looking forward to about being in the NBA?

Caboclo: To play and compete against the best players in the world.