For former Purdue Boilermaker Robbie Hummel, the path to the NBA has been marred by injuries, but he is finally getting his chance to make his dream come true. Starting next week, Hummel will join the Minnesota Timberwolves for their training camp where he will be vying for the Timberwolves final roster spot.
After his first two seasons at Purdue, Hummel looked like a consensus first-round pick. That quickly changed when he tore his ACL during his junior season and then again during a preseason practice his senior season. But Hummel didn’t let the consecutive ACL tears deter him and he came back stronger for his fifth, and final season at Purdue. He led the Boilermakers with 16.4 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.2 blocks per game, but everyone knew that no matter how well he did he was going to wind up being a late second-round pick or go undrafted because there were too many questions about his knees.
Hummel was chosen No. 58 overall by the Timberwolves in the 2012 NBA Draft, but he opted to head overseas and play for Obradoiro CAB as the Timberwolves had a logjam at forward. He went on to average 10.1 points and 2.8 rebounds in 20 minutes in the 30 games he played for Obradoiro CAB.
He returned to the States to play for the Timberwolves Summer League squad where he raised a few eyebrows. Many in the sports media said Hummel’s performance (8.6 points and 5.8 points in five games) was better than rookies Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng; both first-round picks in 2013. Hummel’s outstanding Summer League performance included an 18-point, seven-rebound performance in the second game.
Hummel’s determination and work ethic should land him on an NBA team this year. If the Timberwolves cut him after training camp then he will be eligible to sign with any team. While being the No. 15 man on any squad doesn’t bode well for Hummel, he has made it known that the language barrier overseas was tough to deal with, so being able to gain experience, in any way, in the NBA seems to be more beneficial.
For Flip Saunders and the Timberwolves, signing their 2012 second-round pick should be a no-brainer. Hummel is going to be one of the hardest workers on the team and would benefit greatly from just practicing with the team. And if Hummel’s knees hold up, the Timberwolves could potentially say they got a steal in the second round.