With the 58th pick, the T’Wolves select Robbie Hummel.

Zach Harper —  June 29, 2012 — 11 Comments

Robbie Hummel, small forward from Purdue University.

I’m not sure what you’re supposed to do with a 58th pick. Do you grab someone you can stash away in Europe for a couple of years? Do you essentially pick a guy that can develop in the D-League for you? Is there a way to address a need at 58? Are you just grabbing someone you hope can push the guys on your roster to compete in Summer League and training camp?

Wolves took Robbie Hummel with the 58th pick for two reasons:

1) He can shoot the lights out and this team sucked at shooting last season.
2) He’s torn his ACL twice.

I’m not sure that Hummel will ever be able to truly compete in the NBA after his injuries. We don’t know if it’s completely robbed him of the athletic ability and quickness to stay with NBA talent on a nightly basis. Before he was injured, Hummel was being picked as an All-American candidate and projecting to be a first round pick. He could have probably gone anywhere from late lottery to the mid-20s in the first round. On February 24, 2010, he tore his right ACL in a game here against the Gophers. About eight months later, Hummel tore the same ACL in a team practice on October 16th. Because these injuries happened to him, he fell drastically over the past two years. He essentially ended up in the Wolves’ reach because his ACL tore twice.

Through both of these devastating injuries, he’s come back. After two ACL injuries in the same knee, Robbie scored 16.4 points per game (career-high) for the Boilermakers last season. Sure, he shot a career-worst 41.7% from the field to get those scoring numbers but he also averaged a career-best 7.2 rebounds per game. He doesn’t turn the ball over. He doesn’t make a ton of plays. He just knows how to shoot the ball and find ways to score.

As far as his athleticism, he’s doing okay. Hummel was never the guy to wow you with his movement from a pure athletic standpoint. But when he measured out for the Draft Combine a couple weeks ago, he finished 23rd out of 40 small forwards in the 3/4 court sprint. He finished 25th out of 39 small forwards in the lane agility test. When he had his workout here in Minneapolis, he looked to be in phenomenal shape and moving quite well without even wearing a knee brace.

It’s unrealistic to think the 58th pick is going to come to the team and have an impact. In the last 10 years, only Luis Scola has been the third-to-last player drafted and made a real impact. The second best player in this classification is a fight between Brandon Hunter, Lester Hudson and Derrick Caracter. No, seriously. But Robbie Hummel isn’t your typical end of the draft guy. He was a legit NBA prospect before blowing out the same knee twice. He came back from those injuries to prove he can still play, and he showed enough in the pre-draft workout to let the Wolves think, “what the hell?” and give him a shot.

This week, the Wolves added two really incredible shooters to their roster. This is a good thing considering the Wolves were 27th in FG%, 23rd in 3FG%, 18th in TS%, and 20th in EFG%. If there was a way to measure shooting from anywhere that wasn’t the free throw line, the Wolves pretty much struggled. Now with guys like Chase Budinger and Robbie Hummel on the roster, you can feel a little confident spreading the floor. And when you can spread the floor, you open up driving lanes for Ricky Rubio (when he’s back) and J.J. Barea. You also open up entire sides of the floor for Kevin Love, which in turn opens up the middle for Nikola Pekovic. Adding shooting to this attack is a symbiotic relationship. It allows the offense to be a living and breathing organism.

Chase Budinger and Robbie Hummel may not be the sexiest of moves for this team, but the Wolves are addressing a huge need. They need a specific set of skills (like Liam Neeson in Taken) and are grasping them in the morning sunrise of the 2012 offseason.

 

Zach Harper

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11 responses to With the 58th pick, the T’Wolves select Robbie Hummel.

  1. Kahn has you drinking the kool-aid, I see.

  2. Cynical Jason June 29, 2012 at 1:56 am

    “In the last 10 years, only Luis Scola has been the third-to-last player drafted and made a real impact.” Technically true, but don’t forget Isaiah Thomas from last year’s draft. Dead last in the draft, and had a huge impact.

  3. You’re gonna love robbie. Though not a great athlete by any means,he covers ground faster than you think. He’s a smart defender and as stated above, and everywhere else, the man can shoot.

  4. I still remember that game at Williams Arena. We were all chanting “left, left, left, left, left, left, left, SIT DOWN!” as he hobbled to the bench. Gopher fans will get that!

  5. Yeah, Jason. I didn’t include him because I figured, give it another year. Maybe he’s Nate Robinson, maybe he’s actually good.

  6. College Wolf, 2 things:

    1) Manu was drafted in 1999. I’m no math major, but I’m pretty sure that was outside of “the last 10 years.”
    2) I’m not drinking Kahn’s kool-aid. I’m seeing weaknesses with the team and seeing they’re being addressed. I don’t think one move is going to make this team better. I also don’t think either of these moves have Kahn’s fingerprints on them. Dig a little deeper, do a little homework and you’ll see who is actually calling the shots with this team.

  7. The Timberwolves just want the whitest team in the NBA

  8. pagingstanleyroberts June 29, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    This seems more like a classic scouting move than an analytics move. My guess would be they thought his skills and his background could lead into a guy who wouldn’t be a net minus if he was pressed into service when injuries hit.

  9. Was that the Wolves’ only draft pick?

  10. @JT’s Hoops Blog. Theinternet.com maintains that it is.

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