Caleb Swanigan (PF/C, Purdue)

Measurables: 6’8.5”, 7’3” wingspan, 245 lbs, 20.1 years old

Strengths

  • Super long arms make up for below-average height
  • Great 3 point shooter for bruising big – 45% on 85 attempts
  • Gets to line and converts – 7.4 FTA/40, 78% FT
  • Very good playmaker for a big man – 18.7 AST%
  • Amazing rebounder – 22.5 TRB%, 15.3 REB/40
  • Extremely efficient at basket – 80% at rim
  • Flashes of midrange – 39% on 2 point outside rim
  • Pretty good defensive value stas – 5.6 DBPM, 2.6 DWS
  • Still only 20 – has continued to refine body and will continue to do so
  • Uses strength and touch as part of refined postup game
  • Great intangibles – very hard worker, smart kid
  • Flashed faceup/fall-away game in post
  • Very good footwork in pick and pop – finds ways to get open
  • Solid rim runner, will only get better as frame improves
  • Good instincts/touch on o-boards
  • 9’0” standing reach is passable for mins at center

Weaknesses

  • Is he big enough to defend centers in the NBA?
  • Does not have quickness to guard NBA power forwards
  • Struggled a lot with turnovers – 18.5 TOV%
  • Will need to add arc to 3 point shot to get to NBA line
  • Needs time to load up for dunks, may struggle to finish in traffic
  • Will get exposed in PnRs at NBA level b/c of mobility issues
  • Too slow/not enough of a ball handler to attack closeouts
  • Will he become an elite athlete as he sheds weight?
  • Very low block/steal rates are bad sign on defense
  • Post-centric game may not translate to modern NBA
  • Almost surely will be a defensive minus throughout career
  • Will need to prove 3 point shot is legit to earn mins at 4
  • Needs to land on team that can compensate for his weaknesses

Overall

  • Swanigan was one of the best players in college basketball last season at just 19, but defensive limitations make it hard to project him to the NBA as a highly successful player. He’s an offensive beast; a powerful post player, accurate 3 point shooter, and gifted passer. He’s also arguably the best rebounder in this draft, a skill that almost always translates. However, his lack of mobility and height make him a problem defensively. He’s not tall enough to play center for long stretches, and his poor agility will get him killed against smaller PFs and in PnR switches. Still, as a premier offensive weapon who is only 20 and will continue to shed weight, he has lots of value.

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