With the No. 26 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, the Portland Trail Blazers select power forward and center Caleb Swanigan out of Purdue.
Swanigan is the second big man selected by the Trail Blazers in the draft after previously acquiring Zach Collins via trade. Swanigan brings both strength and the ability to score the ball to Portland. After testing the waters as a freshman, Swanigan returned to Purdue for his sophomore year. The return paid dividends as the big man earned First Team All-American Honors and led Purdue to a Big Ten Conference title. In addition, he helped the U.S. win gold at both the 2015 U19 and the 2014 U17 FIBA World Championships.
Swanigan measures in at 6-foot-8, 246 pounds. His ability to stay in shape and maximize his physical abilities will determine his ability to keep up the faster pace of the NBA game. Although his size and strength assist him on the offensive end, he lacks the springy jumping abilities of many comparable prospects, which limits him defensively. In addition, he is prone to turning the ball over.
While it may take him time to be a useful contributor to the Trail Blazers, Swanigan has the potential to give other teams fits with his scoring down low.
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