Caio Torres is a true big man; just a hair under seven feet, surprisingly strong given his age, coordinated, and with some really nice budding skills to compliment that package.
Caio is a pretty good scorer. He can be a force both in the low post or from mid-range area. Near the basket, he shows a pretty good post-up game. He takes advantage of his body to establish position and receive the ball, then moves rather well around the post thanks to his decent footwork, while making good use of his big body. He is able to put the ball on the floor if needed, often to release a one-handed shot over his rival thanks to a soft touch (using both hands if he's not close enough to the basket), even with a slight fade-away movement if necessary. He feels rather comfortable there and doesn't force the issue, so if he doesn't see a clear option, he'll prefer to swing the ball out again. Indeed, he's not a bad passer at all from the post. So we're talking about a player with the ability to play consistently from the post for himself and for his team, which is quite a valuable characteristic these days.
Facing the basket, his weapon of choice is the mid-range jumper. He has range out to close to the international three-point line, and shows decent mechanics and quickness in the process. Of course, it's strictly a static shot, typical of a player his size.
Thanks to his size, bulk, and 7-3 wingspan, he has the potential to become a nice defensive presence in the paint.
Caio seems to be a smart kid. He shows a quick mind, the ability to make good decisions, whether to pass the ball or to look for his own scoring option, and an understanding of the game. He doesn't feel intimidated if he plays against older players, being rather mature for his age.
One of the main concerns about Caio Torres is his athleticism. He looks rather slow of foot, showing average mobility, leaping ability and quickness. The kid is strong, that's true, but he seems to have some weight issues. Having reached 293 lb in the recent past, this is a department to monitor carefully. Although it's difficult to say, right now he's likely under 260 and probably going down (he looks lighter than a few months ago). Nevertheless he should continue addressing this problem. And even if he may significantly improve his conditioning, I don't think he'll ever be a truly athletic player.
Beyond that, Caio sometimes lacks intensity on the court. True, he's not athletic, but many times he looks like he doesn't try hard enough, particularly when we are talking about on the defensive end. I find particularly curious how he can easily establish position in the low post to receive the ball, but a few seconds later he'll be getting banged without mercy on the other end of the floor (although it's not the most common thing given his strength). Besides, he's not an intimidator, not having the vertical, aggressiveness or ability to contest the majority of shots around him.
In certain situations, he performs rather clumsy block attempts with his right hand on an opponent that is attacking Caio's left side, when it should be his left arm the one working to stop his opponent's movement, preferably standing strong with both arms high and letting the length of his body do the rest. Instead, what Torres usually accomplishes with his shot-blocking attempt is to leave his matchup all the space in the world to penetrate.
His lateral quickness is average at best at this point. He gets beat too often if he needs to use it. Even in the low post, someone with just slightly above average quickness can cause him real trouble. The fact that he rarely dunks the ball even in favorable situations doesn't help to sweeten the taste regarding his aggressiveness and athletic ability.
In the skills department, Torres has serious work to do. Starting with his left hand, which he rarely uses around the basket. Besides, he barely has any type of hook shot to speak of, nor anything resembling one to help him finish against bigger and more skilled opponents. His right and one-handed shot has been useful and effective at the competition he has been facing so far his career, but he needs to expand his array of move at the next level (ACB league, for example) if he wants to keep his production up.
Still, Caio is really young, only turning 18 in a few weeks, and in a couple of years he can look like a totally different player. Work is the only word he should be worrying about right now.
Signed by Adecco Estudiantes (home of Sergio Rodriguez) in March of 2004 (reportedly, a five-year deal), Caio was loaned to Rayet Guadalajara in LEB-2 (Spanish third division) for the 2004/05 season. There, he averaged 12.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.2 steals in less than 25 minutes per game. That's not bad at all for a player so young, as LEB-2 is stronger than the majority of second divisions in Europe and full of veterans. After some months, he went back to Brazil because of some personal issues. He's back in Spain now, and has been included in the Estudiantes roster for the ACB playoffs, although it's not likely he'll get any action beyond garbage time.
Caio has declared for the 2005 draft, obviously to draw attention to himself, as his chances of being a first rounder are non-existent, while the second round is only a possibility. I think it's rather concerning to see him declaring when he's so far away from the NBA. Let's hope he's smarter than this move leads us to believe (and he really seems to be). The first impression people have of a player is often a lasting one, and Caio could have chosen not to make it now, as it's not going to be a very positive one.
For the future, it all depends on his development, particularly regarding his conditioning and athleticism. With the proper work, he could easily reach second round status in the future, or even eventually become first round material. Right now, it's just too early to tell.
Taking into account what he has shown this season, I don't expect a glamorous future for Caio in the NBA. He has the tools to become a very good player in Europe, but it takes more to succeed in the NBA. Anyway, he's still very young and he might eventually turn into an interesting prospect.