While Bruno Caboclo received minimal playing time with the Toronto Raptors and arrives in Sacramento with modest expectations, he received a strong endorsement from fellow Brazilian Tiago Splitter.
Splitter, a reserve big man whose best seasons (2010-15) were with the San Antonio Spurs, suggested the new Kings forward would benefit from the familiar “change of scenery.”
“Bruno is a great player,” said Splitter, who was working the Rising Stars game Friday for the NBA’s Brazilian broadcast team. “He needs a team that gives him confidence, that lets him play and has some good leaders. He’s a good shooter, has long arms, and has a feel for the game. He’s an NBA player for sure. I wish him the best.”
The Kings acquired Caboclo at the Feb. 8 trade deadline in exchange for Malachi Richardson.
Although the Kings don’t have any players in Sunday’s All-Star Game, and some of the organization’s most, uh, difficult moments took place here in the Staples Center, the Lakers’ Northern California rivals were well-represented Friday night. Besides Bogdan Bogdanovic winning MVP, Buddy Hield leading Team World with 29 points, and De’Aaron Fox entertaining both during the game and in the early afternoon media sessions, former Kings assistant Rex Kalamian was the winning coach.
His Team World clobbered Team USA 155-124 behind the Bogdanovic-Hield tagteam.
“Between Bogi and Buddy Hield, we had 55 points, and they shot the ball extremely well,” said Kalamian, now an assistant with the Raptors. “I kind of went into the game talking about layups and 3s, and let’s just take a bunch of them (Friday night) and have fun.”
Bogdanovic even added an Olympic twist – big amplitude – on a 3-pointer that he drilled from just inside the midcourt line.
“There are guys in this (rookie) class that are very athletic,” said Team USA coach Roy Rogers, “and then you see a guy like Bogdanovic (Friday night) who can really get it going from the outside. I mean, the league is expanding. It’s no longer the cookie-cutter league where big guys just stay on the post. You’ve got bigs that really spread the floor, and it allows the small guys to spread the paint. I think this rookie class just really signifies where the NBA is heading.”