NBA Rumor: Bruno Caboclo Free Agency

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The Houston Rockets today announced they have re-signed forward Bruno Caboclo (cuh-BO-clo) in addition to signing a trio of free agents in guard Sterling Brown, guard Mason Jones, and forward Jae’Sean Tate (JAY-shawn). Jones was signed to a two-way contract. Caboclo (6-9, 218) was originally acquired by Houston via trade from Memphis on Feb. 6, 2020 and appeared in eight games for the Rockets over the remainder of the season. The Brazilian native was the 20th overall pick by Toronto in the 2014 NBA Draft and has appeared in 99 career games. In 2018-19, Caboclo averaged career-highs of 8.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.5 assists for the Grizzlies.

Rockets keeping Bruno Caboclo?

There’s still a clear need at center and power forward, and you could give a strong argument for another point guard. As far as centers go, Bruno Caboclo is still a free agent, but The Athletic understands that the organization is invested in him and would like to have him going forward. But I’d doubt if Houston would be confident with just Caboclo as the sole backup big so there’s some bargain hunting to be had. The real question, now, becomes what does Houston deem more valuable at this point: added depth (a point guard and forward/center) or Gordon?

The Grizzlies are not just dipping a toe in with Caboclo. They are committed to seeing what he can provide at the NBA level. Caboclo received another 10-day contract on Feb. 3 and, when it expired on Feb. 13, the Grizzlies signed him to a multi-year deal. (Caboclo’s deal has an early trigger date for a $300,000 guarantee in July but is otherwise non-guaranteed for 2019-20.) They are invested. “Every opportunity, every experience he gets is a good one for him,” J.B. Bickertsaff said. “It was important to us that we got him on the floor. That was the reason why we signed him. We didn’t sign him as a project, so to speak, we signed him because we were looking for somebody we thought could help contribute. He’s been able to do that. Obviously, you’ve gotta got through some of those bumps and bruises and you’ve gotta get that experience of playing, but if you keep playing in the G League, you never get that experience. So he’s gotta get the opportunity, and he’s taken advantage of it.”

Memphis Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace today announced that the Grizzlies signed forward Bruno Caboclo to a second 10-day contract. Caboclo (6-9, 218) has appeared in five games as a reserve and has averaged 6.0 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 1.60 blocks in 23.0 minutes after initially signing a 10-day contract with the Grizzlies on Jan. 24. The 23-year-old set or tied his NBA single-game career highs for points, three-pointers made, free throws made, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks during his first 10-day contract.

There are stakes, now. Exercising his fourth-year option isn’t a huge dilemma, but whether or not to offer him a qualifying offer to retain his rights versus letting him become an unrestricted free agent after next season is a little more complex. The Raptors do not need him to be a rotation player yet, but urgency is creeping in. Gale mentioned that even though Caboclo spent most of his rookie season learning from the Raptors at the NBA level, that rarely translated in Mississauga. “You’ve got to be the NBA player,” Gale said. “You can’t be the young D-League guy anymore.”
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January 24, 2021 | 6:17 am EST Update

NBA players want equity in teams

Speaking at a SporticoLive event on Tuesday, Roberts said that while players share in the passion for the game, and in the responsibility of growing the NBA’s multi-billion-dollar enterprise, “what we don’t share is having an equity stake in the teams.” “We’ve got a collective bargaining agreement that says we can’t [own stakes], and hopefully down the road we’ll make some changes,” she said. “The players will be the last to suggest that we want to see the game’s value, or teams’ values, in any way diminish, but it sure would be nice to be able to go to the party.”
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The league is also making changes to make it easier to attract minority investors. Last year it greenlit Dyal Homecourt to raise money for a fund that could invest in multiple teams. Now it’s discussing an expansion of that program, where other institutional investors could gain the same right. “If [private equity investment] happens,” Roberts said, “I will have players complain bitterly that, ‘Wow, we helped create this wealth, we helped create this value, and some private equity guy can come in and I can’t?’”
One suggestion: Instead of giving equity to players themselves, give it to the union. That wouldn’t necessarily result in checks to individual athletes, but it would give the NBPA more resources to support players and their communities. Another suggestion: a structure similar to employee stock options, which are common in other some businesses. “There’s a way, in other words, for players to enjoy equity in these teams that may be non-traditional,” Roberts said. “It may be a little different from the way we do it on the private side, but I still think there’s an opportunity for us to talk about, think about and ultimately resolve what I believe to be an inequity in the system.”