The Minnesota Timberwolves made a big change at the top of their front office this offseason, as former coach Flip Saunders has returned as president of basketball operations in place of the much-maligned David Kahn. Saunders has already re-shuffled the scouting staff, and some changes are surely coming to the roster with two first-round picks later this month and players on the current roster that could appeal to other teams in a trade. Could a pick from Kahn’s last draft make a push for a roster spot?
The Timberwolves used their second-round pick (58th overall) in 2012 on Purdue forward Robbie Hummel, but they did not sign him and he spent this past season playing in Spain.
Hummel’s college career was derailed by tearing the ACL in his right knee twice, and he also underwent surgery to repair a damaged meniscus in the same knee last September. He missed the start of the season post-surgery, but hit his stride late in the season as he moved into a starting role for Obradoiro and helped propel the team to a playoff spot. Hummel finished the season averaging 10.1 points and 3.8 rebounds per game in just under 20 minutes played per contest, while making over 49 percent of his field goal attempts, over 41 percent of his three-pointers and more than 89 percent of his free throws.
Hummel is expected to play for the Timberwolves’ Las Vegas summer league team in July, and he has recently said he is “ready to go full bore” to make Minnesota’s roster for 2013-14. Whether he gets that opportunity is unclear since he was drafted by Kahn, but without any comments from Saunders to go on right now no conclusions can be drawn.
Assuming he can stay healthy, Hummel can be a capable perimeter shooter and help address Minnesota’s most glaring weakness offensively last season. The Timberwolves still have a glut of forwards blocking Hummel’s path to a roster spot, but if Derrick Williams is traded or Andrei Kirilenko decides not to exercise his player option for next season a legit chance to start his NBA career could come.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.