Robbie Hummel Fits Style of "New Look" Wolves
Robbie Hummel is, once again, officially a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves. The injury-plagued shooting guard has struggled with his health since his collegiate days at Purdue University—though he has managed to stay healthy since being drafted by the Wolves—and the team decided to give him another shot on Tuesday.
Hummel was drafted in 2012 by Minnesota, but spent his first year in Spain playing for Obradoiro CAB. The 2013-14 season was his first on the team, and he averaged 3.4 points and 2.5 rebounds per game through 53 games.
After the signing was officially announced on Tuesday, Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders said he was very excited to have Hummel back, and to have the opportunity to coach him this upcoming season.
"He proved that he can be a key contributor off the bench and finished the season strong,” Saunders said of Hummel’s play last season. “Robbie's ability to stretch the floor with his shooting range is a valuable asset for our team."
It’s exactly that shooting range that has continued to make him interesting to teams, despite the injury concerns that come along with him playing a grueling NBA schedule. After tearing one of his ACLs twice—on two separate occasions during college—he was seen as a risk in the past. But after a healthy season in 2013-14 and looking back at all of the successes he had at Purdue, Saunders is ready to give him another shot on the young, athletic team he is assembling.
Saunders has said he is looking to stretch the floor this year, play the game at a faster pace, and get out and run in transition. Those are all things Hummel’s sharp-shooting ability can help with. He’s a constant threat on the perimeter that teams will have to account for, and under Saunders’ coaching he’ll hope to get more time on the court this season to develop even further as a player.
The other aspects of Hummel’s game that earned him a spot on the team are his hustle and determination. Saunders looks for players that will give the extra effort—that won’t settle or become complacent. One of the reasons he was so excited about the prospect of taking Zach LaVine in this year’s draft is that he is considered, in Saunders’ words, a “gym rat.”
Those are the kinds of players Saunders is looking to build his team around, and that’s the type of culture he and his assistant coaches are looking to create in Minnesota. On a team that hasn’t made the playoffs in a long while, a culture change may be exactly the boost the Wolves need.
Hummel is just another piece of the puzzle that Saunders—and Wolves fans—hope will come together to create a playoff-caliber team once again.