Should the Indiana Pacers draft local product Caleb Swanigan?

Mar 23, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Purdue Boilermakers forward Caleb Swanigan (50) shoots as Kansas Jayhawks guard Josh Jackson (11) defends during the second half in the semifinals of the midwest Regional of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Naismith Player of the Year finalist Caleb Swanigan has officially announced that he will enter the 2017 NBA Draft. Should the Indiana Pacers take a chance on the local product from Purdue University?

Every year, there are local players around the nation that NBA fans want to see their team pick in the draft. Going into the 2017 NBA Draft, the Indiana Pacers have forward Caleb Swanigan on their radar, an in-state player from Purdue University.

Swanigan had a stellar sophomore season at Purdue, averaging 18.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. Swanigan also led the nation in double-doubles last season with 28.

Caleb Swanigan had a very impressive year that placed him among the four Naismith College Player of the Year finalists in 2017. Despite his productivity, however, there are questions regarding Swanigan’s potential as an NBA player.

Still, ESPN’s Jeff Goodman announced Wednesday that Swanigan was staying in the 2017 NBA Draft:

He also posted a tribute to Purdue and the fans on his Instagram around the same time:

Caleb Swanigan is a below-the-rim player who possesses limited athleticism by NBA standards. His lateral movement is not very good, which will cause him problems on the defensive end of the floor.

Swanigan doesn’t appear to have the tools to be an impactful rebounder or post player at the next level, so he will have to rely on his face-up game, which improved immensely from his freshman to sophomore seasons at Purdue.

Caleb Swanigan has a very strong work ethic that has allowed him to improve his conditioning and skill set during his two years of college basketball, and that trait gives him the potential to be a solid professional for many years to come.

Given the pros and cons of Caleb Swanigan’s game, how much interest should the Indiana Pacers have in the young man from Fort Wayne, Indiana?

The Pacers currently have two picks in the upcoming draft: No. 18 and No. 47 overall. Swanigan does not offer enough value to be chosen 18th; most mock drafts have him going somewhere in the middle of the second round.

The intrigue could build if Swanigan slips all the way to Indiana’s second round choice. Depending upon who else is still available, it would seem that Swanigan would be a very good selection if he could be had with the 47th overall pick.

The other option for the Pacers would be to trade up a few spots if they feel that Caleb Swanigan will be gone before they are on the clock in the second round.

If that scenario unfolds, the probability is that Indiana would not go out of its way to make a move for the man known as “Biggie.” If there are some raw but high-potential prospects remaining, these players may be of more interest to the Pacers.

In the end, it is doubtful that a marriage between the Indiana Pacers and Caleb Swanigan will take place — he is not worthy of their first round pick, and he will likely be off the board by the time Indiana chooses in the second round.

Swanigan did work out for the Pacers this past week, so there is always a chance that he performed well enough that the team might consider making a draft-day trade to bring him into the fold.

Ultimately, it doesn’t look good for Purdue fans who would like to see Biggie remain in his home state to play pro basketball, but a lot can happen between now and June 22.

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