2017 NBA DRAFT NEWSROOM: Caleb Swanigan's Second Shot At Draft Shows Maturity, Progression
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Sacramento, Calif. –
One of the significant aspects that Caleb Swanigan talked about after working out for the Sacramento Kings was his penchant to get triple doubles at the NBA level.
With his skills, the notion for productive double digits is highly probable for any team that selects him in the draft later this month. At 6-foot-9 and 250 pounds, Swanigan averaged 18.5 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game as a sophomore for the Purdue Boilermakers.
He averaged 18 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists in three games in the NCAA Tournament. There’s plenty of ink of how Swanigan overcame obesity to be a sculpted specimen with little or no fat mass. But his talk of how he wants to win and play the game should garner plenty of attention.
Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook has set the tone since he averaged 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 10.4 assists for the 2016-2017 season, the second player in NBA history to record such numbers. Now Swanigan, and maybe many more athletes, want a piece of the action.
“It’s a challenge, but I would like to dominate in that area, too,” Swanigan said of notching triple doubles. “As far as what it does for a team, if it requires doing a little bit of everything, I probably can do it in that type of way. I like to play with force and I can shoot 3s, too.”
What Swanigan alluded to was Golden State Warriors’ power forward Draymond Green’s method of operation. Green can rebound, dish out dimes, and score with efficiency while flirting with a triple double every time he steps on the basketball court.
University of Nevada, Reno standout Cameron Oliver talks about his workout for the Sacramento Kings work out at the team's Training Facility on June 7, 2017. Oliver also played for Sacramento's Grant Union High School. Publicity Agents photo art by A. Ray Harvey.
“I can put up those numbers,” Swanigan said. “I’m a bigger Draymond Green but I’m more fluid, can play on the perimeter to hit shots, move my feet, find the open man, and I also want to rebound more than Draymond. I’m not saying I’m a better rebounder than Draymond by any means. But he’s more oriented one way, playing outside in, and I’m more oriented the other way, playing inside out depending on the match up.”
Swanigan also mentioned that he studies Green’s and Memphis Grizzlies’ power forward Zach Randolph’s work. Former NBA players such as Kevin Garnett and Chris Weber were good to get 20-plus points, 10-plus rebounds, and five-plus assists with a triple-double thrown in there on occasions. But Swanigan prefers Green’s and Randolph’s blueprints.
There is a justifiable reason why he studies film of the two All Stars, too. Swanigan talked to Green and Randolph when he was going through the Michigan State's recruiting process where the pair played in college. Swanigan was committed to be a Spartan, but decommitted to attend Purdue. He’s still a Green and Randolph fan.
“It helps me a lot just seeing guys make their way to this level when some tell you it’s not possible and you don’t fit the look,” Swanigan said. “When I talked to them they talked about being a competitor and being a dog. The biggest thing is to have that ‘I’m going through you every time you’re in my way’ mentality. That’s why I’m a mixture of both [Green and Randolph].”
During his workout in front of the basketball minds of the Sacramento Kings, Swanigan went up against 6-8, 225-pound forward Cameron Oliver from the University of Nevada, Reno. Oliver, who played for Sacramento’s Grant Union High School, said he and Swanigan nearly pushed each other to the limit.
“Caleb is a big, strong dude. A low-post guy,” Oliver said. “He definitely showed me I have to work on my low-post defense. But we competed, he’s a really good player, and I wish him the best.”
ROUND AND ROUND WE GO...WHERE CALEB SWANIGAN LANDS IN THE 2017 NBA DRAFT NOBODY KNOWS
The 2017 NBA Draft is expected to be one of the deepest talent pools in recent memory. There could be a lot of surprises in terms of rerouted draft positions and unexpected trades. Also, many first-round projections could end up in the second round and vice-versa.
NBA DraftNet has Caleb Swanigan going in the second round as the 36th pick. DraftExpress’s Mock Draft have Swanigan going in the first round at the 27th spot after earlier indication by the website had him selected at the 40th position in the second round.
Swanigan, who shot 52 percent from the field last season and has a wingspan of 73 inches, is a first-round prospect. He just so happens to be in a field where some first-round prospect could are not going to get their name called until the second round.
Swanigan pulled out of the draft last year, but this time around, despite the loaded talent in this year’s process, he’s not worried about his decision to ride it out. He's now a seasoned veteran of draft workouts, which he says is an advantage.
“Last year the way I scheduled workouts, knowing how that went and how my body felt, it allowed me this year to spread them out a little bit to give myself a better chance to perform in each one,” Swanigan said. “The biggest thing about the NBA is to play your game, play to your strength, and do what you do.”
He also credits the Big Ten Conference brutish style of play in helping him get to the next level. The Big Ten has always been about big bodies and Swanigan had his share of dealing with physical movement on both end of the court for nearly 80 college games.
“It prepared me a lot when coaches are running four to five big men at you on nightly basis,” Swanigan, a Consensus All-American selection, said of the Big Ten. “The physicality helps to prepare you for a game like this [in the NBA] where it’s so spread out that you feel like you’re playing in an ocean.”
By T. Ray Harvey | PA Public Information Officer and Photographic Artist
Twitter: Tony Ray Harvey @PublicityAgents
T. Ray (Antonio) Harvey is a Public Information Officer and Photographic Artist for Publicity Agents. Harvey is also the author of The HOMICIDAL HANDYMAN OF OAK PARK: MORRIS SOLOMON JR.