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NBA Draft Expert Takes Trail Blazers to Task for Caleb Swanigan Pick

Jonathan Givony talks to Zach Lowe about one of Portland’s first-round selections last year.

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Portland Trail Blazers Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

The Zach Lowe Podcast is seldom dull, especially when Lowe and his guests begin discussing the Portland Trail Blazers, who always seem to be on the cusp between promise and futility. That was the story again this week as Lowe welcomed ESPN draft expert Jonathan Givony, who took the Blazers to task for one of their 2017 selections.

Roughly 39 minutes into the podcast, Givony opines:

I didn’t understand last year, like, I don’t know, Caleb Swanigan, you know, I didn’t get that. You can find that dude in free agency, maybe for the minimum, so why are you going to use a first round pick on him, not to pick on Portland but there were a lot of guys drafted in the 20s last year where you were like, why not just take a flyer on Sterling Brown.

Brown appeared in 54 games for the Milwaukee Bucks in his rookie season, averaging 4.0 points on 40% shooting, 35.2% from the arc in 14.4 minutes. He was selected in the second round, 46th overall, by the Philadelphia 76ers and traded to Milwaukee for cash.

Swanigan averaged 2.3 points and 2.0 rebounds in 7.0 minutes per game for the Blazers, appearing 27 times. He also shot 40% from the field. Portland used the 26th pick of the 2017 NBA Draft to obtain him after trading up to the 10th spot to select Gonzaga forward Zach Collins.