PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Portland Trail Blazers selected Purdue power forward Caleb Swanigan with the 26th pick in the NBA draft on Thursday night.
Earlier in the evening, Portland traded up to the No. 10 spot, sending the 15th and 20th picks to Sacramento, to draft Gonzaga center Zach Collins.
Swanigan, 20, was the Big Ten Player of the Year and a first-team All-American his sophomore season. He ranked second in the NCAA with 12.5 rebounds per game. He also averaged 18.5 points and was a good passer, handing out three assists per game.
Swanigan can also shoot the 3-pointer. He made 45 percent of his 2.4 3-point attempts per game.
The Purdue big man battled numerous issues as a young man, including homelessness, the death of his father and weight issues. Swanigan weighed more than 350 pounds as an eighth grader. But during two seasons at Purdue, he transformed his body and his basketball career.
Scouts say Swanigan will most likely have to play a small-ball center role in the NBA because his lack of athleticism and quickness will make it difficult for him to guard power forwards. With a 7-3 wingspan, he does have the length to play center.