retired - would love to have him as a team

TORONTO -- The Toronto Raptors shocked many on the draft floor by going off the board and selecting Brazilian forward Bruno Caboclo with their 20th selection on Thursday night. Renato Sanches Bayern Munich Jersey . But Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri said the pick didnt come out of nowhere. Ujiri said he had been tracking Caboclo since the 2013 Basketball Without Borders tournament, where he was named tournament MVP. "Bruno was one of our next guys and we decided we lost one (Tyler Ennis), were not going to lose the second one. We jumped on it," said Ujiri. "We felt like hes second on our board so lets get aggressive. "Hes a few years away, but hes a talent that I think, at the end of the day, we will be happy that we picked. Well develop him and were excited that we got a talent like that." Head coach Dwane Casey said that budding talent was something the team simply could not pass up. "There were some other guys on the board, but still with this young mans potential, I dont think the other guys on the board have the potential as high as Bruno and that was the deciding factor for us," Casey said. The Raptors, who had been linked to Ennis -- a point guard from Brampton, Ont. -- had to quickly shift their focus once the Syracuse product was selected 18th overall by the Phoenix Suns. With Ennis no longer available, Casey says Caboclo became Torontos clear choice. "(Caboclo) is one of those guys that we had to move and get him at 20 once we didnt have a chance to get Tyler Ennis," said Casey. "We had a program in place where we were going to try and get Tyler and Bruno. Once we couldnt move up and get Tyler, Bruno was the guy." Casey said Toronto was one of just three or four teams who knew of Caboclo, a native of Sao Paolo, but Phoenix was also in the mix. With the Suns holding the No. 27 pick, the Raptors didnt feel Caboclo would drop to the 37th pick, where Toronto selected second. "When you start to hear that the guy could be gone at certain places, we started to hear in the late first round," Ujiri said. "Sometimes it gets frustrating where you dont get the picks that you want and you lose a guy and that happened to us earlier." Toronto also picked DeAndre Daniels, a six-foot-nine forward out of UConn, with the 37th overall selection. The Raptors ended their draft by taking 6-4 guard Xavier Thames with the 59th pick, but quickly dealt him to the Brooklyn Nets for cash considerations. Caboclo, who will turn 19 in September, is a 6-8 swingman with a 7-7 wingspan. He spent the 2013-14 season with Pinheiros of the Brazilian league and played 16 games last year, scoring 4.9 points and grabbing 3.1 rebounds per game. "Hes one of those players with a tremendous amount of potential: athletic, wingspan, same wingspan as JaVale McGee," said Casey. "Hes raw, but again hes going to be a guy that develops in our program and grow and do a lot of things for us." The plan for Caboclo, who was en route to New York from Houston at the time of the Raptors pick, is to have him go to Los Angeles and work out with Raptors veterans DeMar DeRozan, Amir Johnson and Terrence Ross before heading to Las Vegas to participate in summer league action. "I think this development is important for him where hes getting used to the facilities, used to the training," Ujiri said. Caboclo is expected to fly to Toronto Friday. This isnt the first time Toronto has selected a Brazilian in the first round. In 2004, the Raptors used the eighth overall selection on Rafael Araujo, who spent two seasons with the Raptors from 2004-2006, averaging 2.9 points per game. Robert Lewandowski Jersey . -- Two-time AL Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana agreed Tuesday to a minor league contract with the Baltimore Orioles as he tries to come back from the second major operation on his left shoulder. Mitchell Weiser Bayern Munich Jersey . His absence against the Celtics comes a day after he scored 43 points in the Heats 100-96 win at Cleveland.FIVE QUICK HOOPS THOUGHTS 1. SPURS WIN TITLE: The model NBA franchise. Bottom line, Im hopeful that everyone saw how beautiful the game is when its played with the team concept in mind and thats the right way to play. In a society where if very "Copycat" aligned, this could be a really good development for the game as a whole on all levels. Every coach out there has the blueprint that we all witnessed for the sacrifice and selfless play that is the core principle of the sport. Now its on every coach to demand that the game be played (and important for folks in authority to back this concept and their leaders) in the proper fashion with We/Us always coming first before I/Me and a guys nonsensical "brand". Youre a player, not a "brand". Its a TEAM game - always will be. Fingers crossed that young players across the globe and particularly here in North America (where some have a warped view of what the sport is) see this as a cool way of playing the game and that the "pass" is a great way of "expressing yourself". 2. LEBRON JAMES (Heat): Im tired of the knuckleheads that bash him vs. Michael Jordan. Hes a totally different player in a different era. The guy plays hard, is a great teammate and is the only reason the Heat even were able to compete in short stretches. I saw no Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Horace Grant, Toni Kucoc, John Paxson or Steve Kerr out there for Miami in this series. The guy was fighting many times on his own. Hed be a guy that I would be honoured to coach and Id say more than 99 per cent of players - current and retired - would love to have him as a teammate. Is he as good as Jordan? No. So what? Its not like he isnt laying it on the line each night. Hes still terrific and not the problem. Im far from an apologist. He has made his fair share of mistakes but at the core, he carries himself properly and values the team concept. I would take him any day of the week on my team. 3. CARMELO ANTHONY (Knicks): I said this after Game 4 and Ill say it again, I think the Melo to Miami rumours were a distraction to the Heat - particullarly to guys like Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. Tom Starke Jersey. By the way, the two of them played poorly to say the least (24 points combined on 26 shots in Game 5). Not sure where he ends up but hes a wonderfully talented player who is an amazing scorer who Im not totally sold understands the 10-man (5-on-5) game and the value of team play. He needs a very strong coach and point guard to get him to see the light. In my opinion, Jason Kidd really helped him last season in his final year as a player, allowing him to understand the right way to play. With him though, its a daily fight to continue to get him to shake off bad habits and buy in to the value of the team game. He knows right from wrong - hes a big boy with tons of talent and money. Accountability is key with him. You keep him on the right path and he can really help you but you have to battle him every day. Ask George Karl - thats tiring. It can be done though. You need great energy and persistence to get him to do it each day. Teams need to decide if they want to fight that fight. 4. SHANE BATTIER and RAY ALLEN (Heat): Battier has already announced his retirement (guys actually retire? Not too often these days - normally guys hang on for anther deal as long as possible) and Allen might choose the same path. Both of them are FIRST CLASS, top-notch professionals who got everything out of their games. They had work ethics off the charts and are coachable. Wonderful examples of the best the game has to offer. Have always admired their approach. When you think of all the lucky guys who had a chance to play with these guys over the years, it has made the game better. Their influence and maturity were impactful, as was their play. 5. DAVID BLATT (Coach): Has had great success overseas and in international competition. Happy to see his name mentioned for the Cavaliers head coaching job as well as the top assistant job with the Warriors. Long overdue. Hes a top-notch offensive coach and gets a ton out of the talent level at his disposal. Very adaptable and creative. Would be a nice addition to the NBA coaching fraternity in some role. 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