Wolves Select Purdue's Robbie Hummel With 58th Pick In 2012 NBA Draft
The Minnesota Timberwolves selected Robbie Hummel with the 58th pick overall on Thursday during the 2012 NBA Draft.
Hummel, a 6-foot-8 forward from Purdue, was a player Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations David Kahn said was widely regarded as a first round player prior to suffering two ACL injuries in college. After seeing his progression in the second half of his senior season as well as getting a look at him first hand during a June pre-draft workout at Target Center, the Wolves staff felt he was healthy and would be a good fit for the organization.
“I felt pretty strongly that when you’re picking 58, the opportunity to take somebody who at one point was a consensus first rounder, coming back from injury, showing signs of regaining his health, it was a risk worth taking.”
His health is something Hummel didn’t shy away from during his pre-draft meetings with teams. He said during after his June 1 workout in Minneapolis that it comes up with every team, and he’s more than happy to address the topic. Kahn said Thursday that Hummel did not wear a knee brace during his workout in early June, which was an indication of his knee’s recovery.
“I am healthy, so it’s not hard for me to go out there and prove it,” Hummel said. “I just go out there and compete as hard as I can, play as hard as I can.”
That’s something Hummel did every time he stepped out on the court with the Boilermakers.
He was a three-time All-Big Ten First Team selection at Purdue, earning the honor for the first time as a freshman. He ranks ninth in school history in scoring (1,772 points), fourth in rebounds (862) and games started (120) and seventh in blocks (112).
The Valparaiso, Ind., native earned Honorable Mention All-America honors from The Associated Press as a junior and senior. He tore his right ACL at the end of the 2009-10 season, then tore it again in the 2010-11 preseason and missed the entire year.
He returned in 2011-12 and finished his senior season averaging 16.4 points per game and added 7.2 rebounds. For his career he shot 44.3 percent at Purdue, including 38.9 percent from 3-point range. He has the range to connect from the NBA 3-point line and is known for being a strong offensive threat.
“He’s got a beautiful shot with a quick release,” Kahn said. “In our league, if you can make shots on a consistent basis and you have a little size to you—and he’s 6-8, 6-8 ½—then you have a chance to make the league.”
What set Hummel apart on the court in college was his work ethic and the intangibles that the Wolves organization seem to be looking for this offseason. Hummel said in early June he was trying to showcase those intangibles to teams.
“Just the fact that I play hard, I have a high basketball IQ, willing to take charges, just do the little things really and just go from there,” he said.
Minnesota traded its 18th overall pick in the Draft to Houston in exchange for forward Chase Budinger and the rights to Lior Eliyahu, making the 58th pick the team’s only selection on Thursday. But given the team’s interest in Hummel as a player and the potential he possesses, Kahn seemed pleased with the way the evening shaped up in his post-draft press conference. He did note that the team is not done with their offseason moves, and that the upcoming weeks should be hectic not only for the Timberwolves but also across the league.
Kahn said Hummel will have every opportunity to make the Timberwolves roster in his rookie season. If he does, he’ll play side-by-side with forward Kevin Love, against whom he played AAU basketball both as a junior and senior in high school.
For Hummel, he said Minnesota would be an intriguing club to join not only because of Love’s standout play but because guard Ricky Rubio is the type of player that can make the guys around him better.
Now he has his chance to join Rubio and Love in a Timberwolves uniform.
“It would be a lot of fun to play with those guys,” Hummel said in early June. “And I think Minnesota is a team on the rise.”