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de before heading out West to work out with his new teammates
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LAS VEGAS - Lucas "Bebe" Nogueira, the Raptors other young Brazilian prospect, prefaces each conversation he has using the same disclaimer. Arturo Vidal Jersey . "My English is not so good," hell tell you, before speaking nearly perfect English for as long as youre willing and able to listen. All eyes have been on his intriguing countryman, Bruno Caboclo, here in Las Vegas for the NBAs Summer League but unlike his quiet 18-year-old teammate, Nogueira is not the least bit shy. The only thing bigger than his personality is his hair. The Raptors acquired the seven-foot centre from Atlanta last month, a year after he was selected with the 16th overall pick and famously attempted to balance a Celtics hat on top of his trademark afro. Hair aside, what should you know about him? Nogueira has you covered... "Im a happy guy, I like to smile," said the 21-year-old, appropriately wearing a big smirk across his face. "I think you should be happy everyday because you have just one life." It doesnt take long to pick up on Nogueiras unique spirit, its refreshing in the pressure cooker that is professional basketball. "Its contagious, infectious," coach Dwane Casey said of Nogueiras personality. "Hes sharp and witty, which is a good thing in this league because its such a frustration-filled league and it can get you down and you cant let it happen as a young kid. Youve got to learn, bounce back and get ready for the next play." Asked about his perspective and approach, things that have helped him stand out early in his Raptors tenure, Nogueira credits his upbringing. He grew up in Rio de Janeiro. He was adopted. His family has supported him and has taught him positive values. His siblings are much older, his brother is 38, his sister 40. Hes the youngest, hence the nickname, Bebe. "It started in Brazil," Nogueira said of the moniker, insisting he has no preference between that and his first name, Lucas. "My family, they called me Bebe. I grew up with Bebe all my life. I dont care [if you call me that] because everyone says it, my mom says it." Nogueira was in Atlanta when he was told he had been traded to the Raptors. Initially, he was shocked, then confused and a little upset. Why would the Hawks acquire his rights on draft night only to give up on him a year later, he wondered. Generally, it takes young players a few years to pick up on a reality Nogueira was becoming aware of before playing a single game. The NBA is a business. Seeking cap space, the Hawks were eager to shed the contract of Lou Williams and acquire John Salmons non-guaranteed deal. Nogueira, a player Masai Ujiri and the Raptors liked in the 2013 draft, was the sweetener. Although the Raptors expect to have Nogueira on the roster this coming season, theyre still working on a buyout agreement with his team in Spain, where he played last year and is still under contract. But Nogueira knows better than to get his hopes up after being welcomed to Atlanta a year ago. Hes hopeful but is wisely holding off on the celebration, despite all the messages hes received over Twitter, welcoming him to Toronto this past month. "We the north? No, you the north. Im not, yet," he joked. Eventually hell join the Raptors and, like Caboclo, the long seven-footer will become part of the contingency plan for a team with winning aspirations in the short-term and a keen eye on the future. Nogueira has been playing professionally since he was 15-years-old and has helped ease the transition for Caboclo both on and off the floor, relaying information to him in his native Portuguese. "If you could transfer some of that youthful enthusiasm to Bruno, and hell get that, [it would be great]," Casey said. "Thats one thing we love about Lucas." The Raptors are happy to have him but - again, like Caboclo - theyre tempering immediate expectations, understanding that he still has a ways to go as a player. "I need to see more to really try to project [how good he can be]," Raptors assistant and Summer League head coach Jesse Mermuys said of Nogueira, who missed most of the teams mini-camp in Las Vegas nursing a minor calf injury. "Hes done some good things and hes had some bad games." Through three games in his second stint at Summer League - he played for the Hawks last year - Nogueira is averaging 6.0 points and 5.0 rebounds in 19.0 minutes per contest. His defensive instincts, while inconsistent, are promising and hes looked competent as a finisher in the pick-and-roll. "Hes going to have to come in and compete in training camp," Casey cautioned. "I dont see any reason why he couldnt [make the team]. It just depends on how much stronger he gets before October. Hes got a long period of time to do it. You cant teach his wingspan." Between he and Caboclo, the Raptors have over 15-feet of wingspan coming in, but the initial focus for both will be to put on muscle and get stronger. "Soon Ill look like Dwight Howard," Nogueira joked, speaking about the eclectic variety of eatery hell have at his disposal in Toronto. Even if he breaks camp with the Raptors, its unlikely that hell crack Caseys rotation in his rookie season but the sooner he develops, the better. Toronto could use a player with his upside as a rim protector. "I wish I could jump like that," Nogueira said while watching Clevelands No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins play on Monday. He may not have Wiggins-like hops but hes no slouch. The centre averaged 1.6 blocks in just 16.6 minutes per game in the Spanish ACB league last year. "Hes got a long way to go," new teammate Kyle Lowry said. "And hes got a big fella in [Jonas Valanciunas], who hell get better with everyday in practice and get strong and they can learn from each other." Nogueira knows Valanciunas, having played against him at the 2011 FIBA Under-19 World Championship. The newest Raptor raved about JVs skill set but remembers trying to get under his skin. "Lucas may have gotten under his skin, but Jonas kicked his ass," a Raptors staffer joked. Nogueira was fifth in rebounds per game and second in blocks while Valanciunas was awarded MVP of that tournament. With Valanciunas gregarious personality and Nogueiras jovial nature, the Raptors locker room should be a lively one for years to come. Nogueira has spent just one day in Toronto, flying to Canada directly after learning about the trade before heading out West to work out with his new teammates. He hasnt had much time to process where his journey has taken him, and wont get ahead of himself before the next step becomes official, but the Raptors young Brazilian prospect continues to smile and look forward to what appears to be a promising future. "The NBA only has 450 jobs for seven billion [people]," he said after crunching the numbers in his head. "I have one job, so I dont have [a] reason to stay sad. I had bad moments in my life but everybody [has] bad moments so I think, okay, I can be sad sometimes but 95 percent [of the time] I want to be happy, because I feel blessed." Kingsley Coman Jersey . -- Mixed martial arts fighter Cristiane Justino Santos has been suspended and fined for testing positive for steroids. Sandro Wagner Jersey . Geovany Soto had an RBI for the Cubs. Carlos Silva gave up one run on three hits over six innings to pick up the win. 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