Robbie Hummel giving Wolves reason to take notice at Summer League
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Robbie Hummel has his share of detractors, and for good reason. Three knee surgeries will do that to a player's stock.
But the Minnesota Timberwolves' 2012 second round draft pick and former Purdue standout is healthy again, and trying to shed any outside concerns about the longevity of his right knee as he vies for the lone available spot on the Wolves' roster.
His recent sample size obviously limited - - a 10.1 point, 3.8 rebound average (41.1% on threes) in 30 games in the Spanish League and two games in the NBA's Las Vegas Summer League -- but Hummel is giving the Wolves a reason not write him off just yet.
Two games into their stay in Vegas, the Wolves' first round draft picks Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng haven't been the ones to make their presence known. It's been Hummel.
The 6-foot-8 forward one-upped his noteworthy performance in the Wolves' opening Summer League loss to the D-League Select squad on Saturday (12 points, six rebounds and three steals, by dropping 18 points on a 6-for-8 clip (2-for-2 from 3-point territory) to go with seven rebounds Monday against the Phoenix Suns.
The game's end result wasn't as pleasant. The Wolves blew a 24-point first half lead and were downed at the buzzer, 91-89, by a Marcus Morris' fadeaway jumper.
Summer League can be a mind-numbing brand of basketball to watch. Disjointed play and a glut of turnovers are hallmarks from the patched together squads of recent draftees, first and second-year players and numerous prospects whose run in Summer League is as close to the NBA as they will get.
However, the week-and-a-half long Vegas field trip can serve as a proving ground for the players in need of it the most. It also has the added benefit of being a period for key prospects to further soak in their team's specific schemes.
Hummel has been making the most of the chance so far, and he has done so in front of the majority of the Wolves' staff, including Flip Saunders and coach Rick Adelman. Hummel is a versatile wing, with the ability to knock down a 3-pointer and guard multiple positions.
Muhammad, as his reputation would suggest, hasn't shied away from taking shots in the Wolves' two games - he has 16 attempts in that span. But converting on those chances has been a work in progress (6-for-16). Muhammad finished with eight points in 24 minutes against the Suns, going 3-for-7 from the floor.
Dieng, coming off the bench this time, was a nonfactor. He turned the ball over five times, and missed his only two shots of the game.
Lorenzo Brown, a second round pick out of North Carolina State, started at point guard. Brown accounted for seven points (2-for-7) and three assists.
The Wolves' third game is set to tip-off at 3 p.m. CT on Tuesday against the Miami Heat. It will be the first game Wolves fans will be able to catch live locally, with it scheduled to air on NBA-TV.