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Blazers' Caleb Swanigan Opts out of NBA Restart; Cited Personal Reasons

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 2, 2020

Portland Trail Blazers forward Caleb Swanigan (50) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, in Denver. The Nuggets won 127-99. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Portland Trail Blazers power forward Caleb Swanigan has decided to sit out the resumption of the 2019-20 NBA season at the Disney World complex in Orlando, Florida.

Blazers general manager Neil Olshey said Swanigan cited personal reasons when informing the team of his decision, per Lindsey Wisniewski of NBC Sports Northwest.

He becomes the second Portland player to confirm he won't travel to Orlando with the club. Small forward Trevor Ariza opted out in order to maintain a one-month visitation window with his 12-year-old son, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Swanigan and Ariza arrived to the Blazers in the same January trade from the Sacramento Kings. It's Swanigan's second stint with the organization, which selected him in the first round of the 2017 draft.

The 23-year-old Purdue product averaged 3.0 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists while shooting 60.5 percent from the field across 20 appearances after the trade. His 13.3 minutes per game represented a career high.

His involvement was expected to decrease in Orlando, however, as the Blazers are set to get the frontcourt tandem of Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins back from injury.

Wenyen Gabriel will probably be the biggest benefactor of extra playing time at the 4, especially if Carmelo Anthony plays his more traditional 3 role given Ariza's absence. The minutes will be limited behind the trio of Nurkic, Collins and Hassan Whiteside, though.

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Jason Quick @jwquick

Recap of Zoom session with Blazers coach Terry Stotts: 1. Caleb Swanigan's status for Orlando is in doubt. 2. He is considering using Nurkic and Whiteside at the same time; 3. He is confident Melo can play the 3 because of team defense

The Blazers return to action 3.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the final playoff berth in the Western Conference. All teams will play a shortened eight-game finish to the regular season in Orlando.

Portland's schedule is set to resume July 31 with a crucial matchup against the Grizzlies.


Bleacher Report's David Gardner interviews athletes and other sports figures for the podcast How to Survive Without Sports.

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