Hummel Finds Home Away From Home With Wolves

Robbie Hummel admitted he was getting nervous toward the end of Thursday’s 2012 NBA Draft. Still available after 57 selections—and having watched teams like Utah, Miami, Philadelphia, Sacramento and Portland, all of whom he said expressed interest, pass him by—the Purdue forward wasn’t sure he’d get selected and was preparing to test free agency.

But with the 58th pick, the Minnesota Timberwolves picked him and, in the process, brought him to a state filled with family ties. In the end, Hummel said he found himself in a familiar part of the country with an intriguing, up and coming club.

 “My agent was keeping me calm, telling me to be patient,” Hummel said. “That’s hard when you’ve been waiting there for four hours. It ended out for the best.” 

Hummel began coming to Minnesota when he was very young, often spending two weeks at a time in the Twin Cities or at his family’s cabin at Pelican Lake, which he said his grandfather built. His grandparents are from Blue Earth and he also has family in Brooklyn Center.

But his next trip to Minnesota will be for business, not leisure. He said he’s expected to make his way to the Twin Cities in the next few days, and he’ll be part of the team’s Summer League roster when the team heads to Las Vegas for five games between July 16-22.

Wolves President of Basketball Operations David Kahn said after Thursday’s Draft that Hummel was a first round talent before a pair of ACL injuries dropped his stock, and with the 58th pick he fit the work ethic and potential the team was looking for. Hummel said he understands he’s got his work cut out for him to earn a spot on the roster and that he’s up to the challenge.

He said he’s talked with Brad Miller—a former Purdue center who played for the Wolves last season and spent much of his career playing for coach Rick Adelman—who told him great things about playing for Adelman and what to expect when joining the team.

Hummel’s biggest attribute in college was his scoring ability, something he did consistently when healthy throughout his career with the Boilermakers. He’s a three-time All-Big Ten First Team selection and twice was named Associated Press All-America Honorable Mention.

“I think my shot is my biggest strength,” Hummel said. “I measured out at 6-8 at the combine in shoes. I think I’m a good rebounder and I’m versatile. I think I can bring a lot to a team.”

He said throughout the Draft process he needed to not only show his strengths on the court but also prove to teams that he was indeed healthy after those pair of ACL injuries. At the combine, he said the medical aspect was even more important than his on-court measurements because of the question marks surrounding his right knee.

 “If I’m not at 100 percent, I’m at 95. Not all the way back yet but they say it takes 20 months, and that’s where I’m at at this point,” he said. “I feel really good, and I think this is the best I’ve felt and the best I’ve played in a long time.”

Now he’s found a spot with the Timberwolves where he’ll get his shot to prove how he can fit on the NBA roster. Given Hummel’s drive to return from injury and the work ethic he showed with the Boilermakers during his career, he seems up to the challenge.

The nervousness from Draft night is over. Hummel said he’s ready to move on.

“It’s a huge relief,” Hummel said. “With this being done—the workouts—it was a long process. I had 12. Now to finally have this over with, I don’t have to worry about where I’m going. It’s great.”

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