Bruno Caboclo and His Chase for NBA Success

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Bruno Caboclo was once compared to Kevin Durant before being drafted to the NBA in 2014. SI's Will Laws got a chance to speak with Caboclo on his time before the NBA and what he Caboclo would have done differently to improve his game.

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Kaitlin O'Toole: Not a lot of people knew who Bruno Caboclo was when he was drafted back in 2014. He was the youngest player in his class at only 18 years old and never even saw an NBA game until a couple of years before being drafted in the first round. Joining me now is SI Writer Will Laws. Will, Caboclo is being compared to Kevin Durant, despite having just played basketball for a few years. He struggled a bit entering the NBA, what his career had taken off if he'd waited a year or two before entering the draft.

Will Laws: Yeah. Bruno told me that is something he's thought about, maybe he would have commanded some more respect from draft analysts and fans alike. There is that infamous quote from an ESPN draft analyst that he was two years away from being two years away when he was drafted. And that's something that sort of followed him throughout his career as he's gone on. You know, he only started playing basketball when he was 13 years old. And he's in a lot of ways he's still finding himself as a player right now. So maybe a couple more years abroad would have helped him out a little bit.

Kaitlin O'Toole:  We've definitely seen flashes, though, of his potential and now he's got this position change. Do you think he could excel with a new team, new position, right?

Will Laws: He had a little breakout season with the Grizzlies last year, but then a new coaching staff came in one to change positions to be more of a small-ball center instead of a power forward. He didn't really get much of a chance to prove himself. He felt like he didn't really get a fair shot at Memphis this year, but he did end up being traded to Houston, which is in a playoff spot right now. And they've been giving him some more time right before the coronavirus pandemic. This necessitated the suspension of the league. But he has a chance to come back in here whenever the league starts back up and get some playing time for a playoff team and really kind of enhance his standing around the year around the league and, you know, have a sort of second shot to prove himself.

Kaitlin O'Toole: All right. Well, hopefully he can do that. Well, thank you so much for your insight on this. I really appreciate it. 

Will Laws: Of course. Thank you, Kaitlin. 

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