After being acquired in a trade with the Atlanta Hawks, Lucas Nogueira joined the Raptors for the recently completed Las Vegas Summer League. Now, he's officially signed with the team, putting his signature on a contract at a Starbucks:
Because Nogueira signed the deal within three years of being drafted, he will receive a rookie-scale contract similar to what the 16th pick received in this year's draft.
Besides his mesmerizing hair and the potential of teaming up with rookie Bruno Caboclo as a Brazilian duo, Bebe also has the potential to become a solid, contributing big man for this team.
At Summer League, I focused on Bebe during Raptors' games to get a feel of how he operates on the court. With encouragement from Jamaal Magloire, who was part of the team's coaching staff in Vegas, Bebe put in a lot of work on the defensive end, specifically working on boxing out his man and getting himself in position to secure rebounds. He ran the floor well, which is an encouraging sign for a seven-footer.
Bebe also seemed to assume the role of a defensive leader on the court. Again, we preface all of this by acknowledging that is Summer League, but he was by far the most vocal player on the court. When he was anchored down low, he was actively barking out signals, pointing out switches and helping his teammates. Yes, it's just summer league, but these are positive signs from a young player who's still learning the nuances of the game, especially on the defensive end.
The offensive end is where things will come slower. At times, Bebe looked lost in the post, standing around as the ball moved around the perimeter. He has a soft touch at the rim, but at times seemed reluctant to elevate for dunks. He struggled outside the lane, and the few jump shots he took looked uncomfortable and awkward.
This part of his game is still very raw, but if he can focus on the little things -- setting screens, positioning for offensive rebounds -- Bebe can still be an asset on both ends of the floor. At worst, he'll assume the Quincy Acy role, waving towels and being a super fan on the bench as he cheers on his teammates.