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Hot Hot Hoops Draft Profile: Purdue forward Caleb Swanigan could sway Heat

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Big, talented power forward can bring strong scoring and rebounding ability to Miami.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Midwest Regional-Purdue vs Kansas Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

With the Miami Heat narrowly missing the playoffs this season, it is time to look towards the future. With the NBA Draft a little over a month away, we’ll look at some fits for the team that can help them make the playoffs next season. Caleb Swanigan would be a perfect fit for the Heat with the 14th pick in the draft.

Swanigan is a 6-foot-9, 250 pound monster out of Purdue. In his sophomore campaign as a Boilermaker, Swanigan averaged 18.5 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. He shot 52.7 percent from the field and an impressive 78.1 percent from the line. He even showed the ability to shoot from the three-point line, shooting 44.7 percent from behind the arc. Swanigan showed in his sophomore season that he has an impressive all-around offensive game.

The place that the Heat would need to see improvement in would be on the defensive end. He averaged 0.8 blocks and 0.4 steals per game at Purdue. At 6-foot-9, there is still the potential for Swanigan to be quite the defensive presence.

In case you haven't heard, Swanigan has quite the story as well. Swanigan overcame obesity and homelessness before going to Purdue. The summer before eighth grade, Swanigan weighed over 360 pounds and was bouncing around from home to home, struggling to find a stable home. His dad was addicted to crack cocaine and his mom was struggling to take care of six kids. He then was adopted by former Purdue football star, Roosevelt Barnes, who is now a very successful sports agent worth over $14 million. Swanigan lost the weight and committed to Purdue after committing to Michigan St. at first. Swanigan has shown quite the work ethic to overcome all of those odds and become a star at Purdue.

The Heat could create quite the tandem with Swanigan and center Hassan Whiteside. Whiteside would bring more on the defensive end and Swanigan could make it up on the offensive end. Clearly the Heat need an upgrade over Luke Babbitt in the starting 5 entering the 2017-2018 season. Whether it is Swanigan or another power forward, the Heat should draft a talent at that position in the draft.

Swanigan brings the Heat a gigantic offensive presence and a ridiculous work ethic to Miami. He could be the answer to turn the Heat into a playoff contender in the Eastern Conference next season.