MEMPHIS, Tenn. - In his post trade deadline address to the media last Friday, Memphis Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace said fans can look forward to an exciting finish to the season.
Excitement at FedExForum has a different meaning these days. The Grizzlies are currently second to last (ahead of the Phoenix Suns) in the western conference, so an exciting playoff race is probably out of the question.
Conveying and developing are the buzz words these days. It’s all about winning enough games to finish outside the bottom eight in the league, thus giving the Boston Celtics their first-round pick in what most believe to be a weak draft class.
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Development should be at the forefront, though. It may not seem like much, but the franchise made a wise move Wednesday morning, signing intriguing forward Bruno Caboclo to a multi-year deal.
This news comes after Caboclo finished up the final day of his second 10-day contract.
Caboclo, tagged as the “Brazilian Kevin Durant”, hasn’t lit up the league with averages of 6.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 21.1 minutes per game.
What he has shown, though, is an intriguing blend of length, raw defensive skills and impressive fluidity at his size (6-foot-9 with a 7-foot-7 wingspan).
Caboclo was drafted 20th overall as a 19-year old by the Toronto Raptors in 2014. He’s played in just 45 games, however. Most of his time has been spent in the G League.
So, inconsistency has been a theme. But, this shouldn’t be a surprise and it shouldn’t matter for this franchise.
With time spent honing on his physical gifts and playing through mistakes, Caboclo just may be able to develop into a viable prospect for the future.
So, while the Grizzlies look to convey excitement, pay close attention to the young guys.
The franchise is banking on Jaren Jackson Jr. being a star, but role players are needed to win. Caboclo, Ivan Rabb and Jevon Carter will get the chance to prove themselves.
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