The Raptors front office staff gave broad support to selecting Bruno Caboclo 20th overall when GM Masai Ujiri brought up the idea to them on draft night, observes Chris Mannix of SI.com. The Mavericks and Celtics were also interested in the unheralded Brazilian prospect, Mannix reveals, and an earlier report indicated that the Jazz and Suns were poised to draft Caboclo, too. Toronto pulled another surprise when it signed Caboclo for this season rather than stash him overseas, even before he impressed in summer league play, as Mannix writes.
“When a guy goes overseas you don’t get to monitor him as closely, to see if he is getting stronger, to see all of what he is doing,” Ujiri said. “Keeping him here, we can do that. When he needs playing time, send him to the D-League. He can play in NBA practices, he can go through a training camp and after the year we will wait to see where he is and what more he needs to develop.”
Here is what else is going on in the Atlantic division on Friday evening:
- When the Knicks took Greek guard Thanasis Antetokounmpo with the 51st pick in June, many believed they did so with the intent of stashing him overseas. As Marc Berman of the New York Post points out, the team could also assign Antetokounmpo to their D-League affiliate without giving him an NBA contract, in turn preventing him from taking up one of their 15 NBA roster spots.
- The Heat are indeed among the teams with interest in free about Toure’ Murry, a source tells Ian Begley of ESPN New York. Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune suggested as much late last month.
- Pistons assistant coach Scott Roth will become the new head coach for Sevilla of the Spanish League, reports ESPN’s Marc Stein, where he will coach 2015 lottery hopeful Kristaps Porzingis. Roth joined the bench in Detroit mid-season in February after three years as an assistant in Toronto. In all, he worked as an assistant on six NBA teams and was also a coach in the D-League. (Twitter links)
- Pistons center Andre Drummond is confident that current teammate Greg Monroe will be back in Detroit for the 2014/15 season, writes Vince Ellis of USA Today. We heard this morning that Monroe might not want to return to the Motor City and this isn’t the first time Drummond has addressed his teammate’s status as a restricted free agent. Monroe has the option of signing his qualifying offer from the Pistons and becoming an unrestricted free agent next summer.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.