Caleb Houstan helped Scottie Barnes acclimate to Toronto

Canadian prospect Caleb Houstan details his history with Scottie Barnes, how he would fit with the Raptors' vision and what he's learned about NBA draft workouts over the past few weeks.

Video Transcript

- Are the Raptors playing [INAUDIBLE]?

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CALEB HOUSTAN: Definitely just looking at different players. I think I take things from a lot of players but definitely yeah, like DeMar DeRozan, just like footwork stuff, how good he is in the mid-range using his footwork to get to his spots, make shots, for sure.

- What did you make of the recent-- or this past year, the team-- how close have you followed them and [INAUDIBLE] did you make of [INAUDIBLE]?

CALEB HOUSTAN: Yeah, I followed them a good amount. I mean, obviously, I focus on my season. But I follow them a good amount. Obviously, lost in the first round, but real good team. Yeah, I thought they did real well. Yeah.

- And what have your conversations been like, I guess, with the front office coaching staff here about a potential [INAUDIBLE]?

CALEB HOUSTAN: Yeah, I haven't talked to them yet. We just came in last night and just started getting into the workouts. So I haven't talked to them yet, to be honest.

- [INAUDIBLE] that process been?

CALEB HOUSTAN: It's been good. It's been a lot of traveling, going to different cities, stuff like that. But it's been real good just to, you know, get in the gym with a bunch of, um, front office guys, like pro guys, and just be able to show what I can do.

- And are they giving you feedback on aspects of your game they would like to see expanded? Or what's the feedback they've been giving you?

CALEB HOUSTAN: Really just-- really kind of saying how the workout went, how things were going, obviously, just little things like with your feet and stuff like that. But most of it's been telling you just about the NBA-- you know what I mean-- so when you get there you kind of know what to expect, just telling you the nuances of how the pros work, really. That's probably the biggest thing.

- Caleb, what [INAUDIBLE] did you follow kind of all the sort of the news and the [INAUDIBLE] and gossip and all the stuff that goes around the draft, like mock drafts and who's rising, who's falling, and all that good stuff?

CALEB HOUSTAN: No, I don't really be following that.

- Did you used to before you Were in it?

CALEB HOUSTAN: About other players?

- Yeah.

CALEB HOUSTAN: Not really, to be honest, no. I mean, you're gonna find out on the draft night.

- OK. And why not? Is it just because you're not interested? Or you just want to stay focused? Or what's the--

- I feel like--


CALEB HOUSTAN: I don't know. I just try to control things that I can control. You know what I mean? So obviously, those things are out there. But I just try to focus on myself, try to get better every day.

- And did you kind of learn how to do that. Because even in high school, right, [INAUDIBLE]--




- --guys are rising and falling. And did you ever get caught up in it then or [INAUDIBLE]?

CALEB HOUSTAN: No, I think just really just like talking to my dad and stuff like that, just really just focus on what you can control, you know what I mean? Can't really worry about things that are out of your control too much. Just focus on what you can control and get it done.

- [INAUDIBLE] because it's hard now, right?

CALEB HOUSTAN: No, for sure.

- There's Instagram. There's like a million other--


- --platforms. Are you just really disciplined or--

CALEB HOUSTAN: I mean, I don't have social media.

- Oh.

CALEB HOUSTAN: Yeah, so it doesn't make it too hard.

- That's amazing.




- Do you have any relationship with Nick? Has he spoken to you about [INAUDIBLE] basketball and stuff?

CALEB HOUSTAN: Yeah, I've talked to him a couple of times just briefly. Because I remember we played the senior team last year with U19, so just talking to him a little bit down there, saying what's up, obviously saying what's up here. Nothing too crazy, but we know each other, for sure.

- What can you say about your relationship with Scottie Barnes and how you've seen him grow this year [INAUDIBLE]?

CALEB HOUSTAN: Yeah. No, that's my guy. Obviously I went to school with him, a great dude, Rookie of the Year. He was killing it. I was watching him all year. Real proud of him. And yeah, obviously, he's done real well.

And it was kind of ironic because we were always talking about Toronto in high school and then kind of got drafted to Toronto, so it's kind of weird. But no, it's real good. We have a real good relationship.

- And what kind of things were you saying about Toronto?

CALEB HOUSTAN: I mean, really, he was just-- he was just kind of talking about-- because obviously, he's Jamaican. And me and Ryan were talking to him. And our family's from Jamaica too, so just talking about a lot of Jamaican people here, telling him a little bit about the slang and stuff like that. That was the biggest thing. That was back in high school, though.

- What was he like in high school?

CALEB HOUSTAN: The same how he is now, like real energetic, real good dude, just a good person to be around. We had a lot of fun, yeah, on and off the court.

- You talk about Scottie being a real good person [INAUDIBLE]. What is the impression you're hoping you're leaving with teams after you work out with them?

CALEB HOUSTAN: Yeah, just someone that could come in and just wants to get better every day, someone that's willing to put the work in, work hard-- someone that's going to get better as they progress through the league, continue to put in the work on the off-season, during the season, and someone that's just going to come in and just want to win, be a winner.

- The Raptors established a pretty unique style of play last season, you know, a bunch of 6' 7", 6' 8" guys playing different positions.


- Is that a style that excites you? What did you make of what they did?

CALEB HOUSTAN: Yeah. No, definitely I think just with them putting, like you said, a lot of 6' 7", 6' 8" guys out there-- a lot of guys who are long who can play, have a lot of skill-- I think definitely I could fit in that, just being versatile, being able to play multiple positions, guard multiple positions. So for sure, that's exciting.

- Is there anyone in the game that you liken your game to?

CALEB HOUSTAN: Yeah. I watched a lot of dudes. But really, the three I watch the most is Khris Middleton, Tatum, and Klay. Those are like the three that-- like, my top guys that I like taking things from and just watching them a lot.

- Why are those your guys?

CALEB HOUSTAN: I just think-- I just try and take things from them. I like the way all of them play. Obviously, their games are a little bit different, but just aspects from their game that I like a lot that I could see myself doing down the road as well as similar body type.

- Any other questions?

- The-- just the decision process between testing the draft waters versus deciding for sure you're going to stay in the draft and not go back to Michigan--


- --how difficult was that? How did you arrive at that decision?

CALEB HOUSTAN: Yeah. Really, I mean, it was just talking to my parents, kind of like you said, going through the process, getting feedback, stuff like that, and then coming to a conclusion. Obviously, confident in myself and my game, and based on what I've heard, that I felt like I was very confident in myself to stay in the draft.

- Confident of what? Like, what are you hoping or [INAUDIBLE] the outcome can be?

CALEB HOUSTAN: Really, I just want to get drafted by a team, obviously, that likes me and just is willing to invest in me. Yeah.

- Does it matter first round, second round or--

CALEB HOUSTAN: I'm not really too concerned about that, just really going to the right team. Yeah, I'm just really excited.

- When you're deciding what team you're going to work out for and whether you're gonna try out in the Combine or not, what goes into those decisions?

CALEB HOUSTAN: I think you're just talking, obviously, to your circle, just trying to figure out what's the best thing for you. You know, everyone's different, but, yeah, just talking to my agent, my parents, my family, and then coming to those conclusions.

- How many teams would you-- will you see, do you think?

CALEB HOUSTAN: I'm not sure. I'm trying to--


CALEB HOUSTAN: I'm not too sure. Yeah, I couldn't tell you an exact number. I can't really remember.

- They sort of all run together, right?



- Mm-hm.

- Is it more than 10?



CALEB HOUSTAN: I don't think so. I'm not too sure, really, yeah.

- And why did you think coming out was better than doing another year of school? And what were the advantages of coming out versus going back and doing another year to get stronger, better, [INAUDIBLE].

CALEB HOUSTAN: Yeah, right. Really, it was just, like I said, just based on the feedback I was hearing through the workouts, as well as just things I've been hearing through my agent, talking to the teams and stuff like that. I thought it was a real good opportunity for me, as well as really just myself internally, just confident enough in my game that I believe that I could go to the next level.

- Does NIL change that process these days where you could actually make money in college in a way that you wouldn't have been able to a few years ago?

CALEB HOUSTAN: I mean, I couldn't make money in college last year. Because the international rule, you can't make any money for international, so, no. [CHUCKLING]

- Thanks very much, everybody.

CALEB HOUSTAN: Thank you, guys.

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