Caleb Swanigan Joins Zach Collins as Trail Blazers' 1st-Round Picks in NBA Draft

Tyler ConwayFeatured ColumnistJune 22, 2017

KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 23: Caleb Swanigan #50 of the Purdue Boilermakers reacts against the Kansas Jayhawks during the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Midwest Regional at Sprint Center on March 23, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Portland Trail Blazers added a potential big man cog to their lineup Thursday, selecting Purdue forward Caleb Swanigan with the No. 26 overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft.

The Blazers and Boilermakers reacted to the selection:

CBS Sports' Seth Davis thought the Blazers got great value:

Purdue on BTN shared some of Swanigan's backstory:

Derek Schultz of Fox Sports 97.5 in Indianapolis was happy to hear Swanigan's name called in the first round:

Swanigan, 20, averaged 18.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game during his sophomore season with the Boilermakers. Mostly an underneath player as a freshman, Swanigan vastly improved as a playmaker and shooter during his second season. He shot a promising 44.7 percent from three-point range on nearly three attempts per game and flashed skills as a facilitator out of the high post.

Hard work will never be a question for Swanigan, who once weighed 360 pounds as a teenager before committing himself to weight loss and basketball.

"He's continued to improve his body," Purdue coach Matt Painter said, per Myron Medcalf of ESPN.com. "He's been selective as a perimeter shooter. He was a good defensive rebounder last year. His improvement lies in his ability to go every single time."

Portland will hope Swanigan becomes their own version of Draymond Green, though Green is a better athlete and a far superior defender. He has the ability to stretch the floor and make plays out of the high post, which makes him the versatile 4 many NBA teams have begun targeting.