Robbie Hummel | 2013-14 Profile

Wolves rookie Robbie Hummel was a reliable player off the bench this season who was ready to contribute when called upon.
David Sherman & Jordan Johnson/NBAE/Getty Images
by Mark Remme
Web Editor
@markremme

Editor’s Note: Throughout the next month, Timberwolves.com will take a look back at the Wolves’ 2013-14 roster individually and look ahead to the upcoming offseason and 2014-15 campaign. Part III looks at forward Robbie Hummel’s rookie year.

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Robbie Hummel

SF | 6-foot-8, 220 pounds

2013-14 season: 53 GP, 12.4 MPG, 3.4 PPG, 2.5 RPG, .360 3FG%

Robbie Hummel answered questions about his knees for so long it started to feel like the subject came up during every media session. As he went through the Draft process coming out of Purdue in 2012, played in two Summer Leagues with the Wolves and won a spot on the team’s roster this past preseason, the questions continued to loom. After two ACL tears and another knee procedure last winter while playing in Spain, how would his health hold up at the NBA level?

This winter was a big milestone for Hummel. He stayed healthy, he produced when called upon and his play on the court by far overshadowed any concerns about his knees. As he moves into the 2014 offseason, the focus moving forward is strictly his on the court production.

That’s what he’s wanted all along.

“I’ve said it before, but the only way I can prove [I’m healthy] is by playing and playing and playing,” Hummel said earlier this year. “That’s what I’m going to keep doing.”

Hummel was a second-round selection by the Wolves in 2012, and he waited patiently for his invitation to Training Camp. He got the nod before this past season, and he essentially was battling with four players for the team’s final two spots on the roster. There were no guarantees, but he worked hard, hit shots and showcased he could add a little depth on the wing as well as at power forward. His versatility to play at the 2, 3 or 4 in certain spot instances was a reason why he landed one of those two open roster spots.

His minutes were spotty, but he did exactly as the team needed. If they needed a spot start, like when Kevin Martin had flu-like symptoms in mid-November, Hummel adjusted from playing 14 minutes in the previous six games to playing 28. He went 4-of-6 that night, hitting a couple 3s and ended the night with 10 points in a victory.

When the Wolves needed someone to fill a role in the rotation, he was there. He did that in parts of December and January. And when they needed someone simply to help in practice, he did that, too. Hummel was always one of the last players shooting after practice, working on his skill set in order to stay ready when his opportunity came.

He understood his biggest asset on the roster was adding versatility on both ends of the floor when needed as well as hitting big shots. The Wolves had confidence that he’d be ready at a moment’s notice to succeed.

“He’s strong, he’s deceptively athletic—a guy who can really rebound, can guard multiple positions. And he went to Purdue, so we know he plays hard,” Kevin Love said. “He’s a grind it out kind of player, really wants to be out there on the floor and really works his butt off.”

Robbie Hummel’s Top Games

Nov. 13 vs. Cavaliers: The Timberwolves needed someone to step in for Kevin Martin on short notice, as Martin was scratched just before gametime with flu-like symptoms. They turned to Hummel, who hadn’t started a game in his young NBA career but filled in admirably. Hummel played 28 minutes, shot 4-of-6 from the field—including a pair of 3-pointers—and scored 10 points in a 124-95 win over the Cavs. Hummel didn’t need to carry a huge shoulder of the scoring—Kevin Love scored a team-high 33 and Corey Brewer added 27 in the game—but his steady play provided the Wolves enough stability on the wing to pull out the victory.

Dec. 11 vs. 76ers: This one was more about quality than quantity. Hummel came off the bench in this one and played just 12 minutes, but his efficiency was noteworthy. Hummel finished the game 4-of-6 from the field, including 2-of-3 from 3-point range, and notched 10 points. He was tied for the team lead with a plus-16 mark, and he added three rebounds and a steal.

March 31 vs. Clippers: Again in a role off the bench, Hummel stepped up and played 23 minutes as a reserve against the Clippers and was part of a second-half resurgence that nearly helped the Wolves come back in a 114-104 loss to the Clippers. Minnesota trailed by as many as 24 in the game, but the Wolves’ bench played the entire 12 minutes of the fourth and brought the team back. Hummel finished with 10 points, five in the fourth, on 4-of-8 shooting. He hit 3-of-4 from 3-point range and finished with plus-16 plus/minus—good for second best on the team.

Top Offseason Objectives

Hummel is spending his offseason in Chicago working with a trainer and a few fellow athletes as he prepares for the upcoming season. His main objective will be trying to increase his strength and work on those intangibles that he can continue bringing to an NBA roster. Hummel’s strength outside of his jump shooting was his understanding of where to be both offensively and defensively at the right moments, and if he’s able to continue working on strength and speed that will definitely help him moving forward. And as a shooter, Hummel needs to continue getting more and more comfortable from 3-point range. He has the potential to be a strong shooter off the bench in this league, but he’ll need to continue working on that and being ready for the unique situations that arise in-game. That includes the quick release, off-balance and contested looks that happen in real time on game night.

They Said It…

“Anything you can do to add to your versatility, especially when you’re a role guy, it is key because you have to set yourself apart in some way. So I think just that understanding of the game kind of helps me defensively, because like I said before I’m not the most athletic guy on the court. But you’ve just got to be locked in and know your strengths and try to play to those.” — Wolves forward Robbie Hummel