It’s a never-ending job for the San Antonio Spurs front office and their pursuit of basketball talent.
This time, Spurs GM R.C. Buford, along with Spurs’ Dennis Lindsey, and Spurs’ scout Claudio Crippa, are in Italy for the 2011 Adidas Eurocamp, where some of the best foreign talent display their basketball skills in hopes of catching the eye of an NBA GM or be drafted in the upcoming NBA draft.
A player attending Eurocamp is Brazilian big man Lucas Nogueira. Norgueira is 6’10”, has a 9’3” standing reach, 7’4” wingspan, 1’9” vertical. His name has been on Spurs fan’s lips recently especially seeing how the Spurs need size as this past season proved.
Here is a write up on how Nogueira did at day one of the camp:
[T]he player receiving the most buzz who is actually fully participating in the camp is Lucas “Bebe” Nogueira. But, the buzz isn’t all warmth and fuzz, with one GM saying, “[he's] So raw… So raw… and he’s out there on the court laughing with all the guys – it’s like, ‘get serious,’ ” and others reaffirming that notion that he did not help himself at all with his first day showing.
Indeed Noguiera looked very raw and showed some questionable body language throughout the day.
Early on he looked very uncomfortable when forced to put the ball on the floor or pass and he failed to stand out going up against fellow lanky big man and camp teammate (Team 1) Bengaly Fofana.
As the day went on, in two five-on-five games, Bebe showed a bit better. First he registered 5 points, 5 rebounds and 4 blocks when going up against Sarra Camara and Team 4. Then, he exhibited a bit more offense going for 11 points and 5 rebounds against the Serbia U19 squad later in the day. His decision making left something to be desired, as did the lack of awareness and experience he showed on both ends of the floor.
All-in-all, without reading too much into day one, Nogueira probably showed talent evaluators a lot of what they expected to see considering his lack of polish, confirming his status as a long-term project.
Though Nogueira seemed to not have a great day one, here’s hoping Buford and the rest of the Spurs’ staff out in Italy find that hidden gem and once again surprise the NBA come draft day.