Feb 29, 2012; West Lafayette, IN, USA; Purdue Boilermakers forward Robbie Hummel (4) high fives the fans while walking off the floor on senior night after playing against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Mackey Arena. Purdue defeats Penn State 80-56. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
Like many other members of the graduating 2012 class, Robbie Hummel finds himself without a job. However, he has been bouncing back and forth between Indianapolis and Tippecanoe County preparing for the biggest job offer he will have: The NBA.
Hummel has won the support of Boilermakers all over the nation, earned the respect from coaches in the Big Ten and other conferences, and has impressed columnists, analysts, and writers from ESPN to those at SB Nation. And as much as I could sit here and rant about how much Robbie has impressed me none of that really matters anymore. What matters is how much he has impressed NBA scouts.
Hummel had a prolific career at Purdue. It could be compared to what Charlie Sheen did during his meltdown a few years back: winning. Robbie is a winner who is composed of grit, spit, and hard-work. He has good size for the SF position, 6'8" 215 lbs. and is a solid shooter, rebounder, a great leader, hustles like nobody’s business, and, this may be his best quality, a true student of the game. He is a willing and quick learner.
Scouts know what they can expect from Hummel. He isn't super raw, like a player such as Anthony Davis from Kentucky or Andre Drummond from Connecticut, yet he doesn’t possess that superior athleticism that they have. One thing that everyone knows is that Hummel is efficient. In 32 minutes per game Hummel averaged 16.4 PTS, shot 38% from behind the arc and 42% from the floor, and averaged 7.2 rebounds. John Hollinger gave Hummel a PER (player efficiency rating) of 25.62, which was 4th in the Big Ten behind Indiana's Cody Zeller, Ohio State's Jared Sullinger, and Northwestern's John Shurna. Like I said, teams will know what they are going to get with Robbie: a player with solid shooting and rebounding capabilities, and a whole lot of heart.
However, Hummel has a few things going against him with coming out this year. One being year’s draft class is so much stronger than lasts, and there is a lot of talent coming at the SF position. Chard Ford currently has Hummel listed as the 61st player in the draft and ranked 15th overall at SF. Hummel is also not a superior ball handler. The guy usually takes a few dribbles to get to his sweet spot and then takes a pull-up jumper. He isn’t that athletic either and a two knee injuries always make someone’s stock go down. These are big factors when entering the NBA which is why many people have him going late second round, like Moore, or going undrafted and being signed as a free agent.
Call me biased, but I whole heartedly believe Rob will be drafted, and here are a few places that I think he will fit the best.
· The San Antonio Spurs: How awesome would it be for Robbie to go to a team like this? One of the best coaches in the league in Greg Popovich and some of the best veterans in the league. Pop loves players who understand their roles and work hard, which is a big part of The Spurs’ success in the playoffs. Rob is the definition of a Popovich player. He isn’t going to do anything that he can’t do and will rely on his teammtes, he’ll make the right passes, he’ll learn where his teammates want the ball, and he’ll take the smart shot. Robbie could learn some great post moves from Tim Duncan, learn how to become more of a wing from Manu Ginobli, and it never hurts to have a PG like Tony Parker to make you look good. If Robbie is drafted by the Spurs I see his role being like Matt Bonner’s: shoot 3’s. But, I think with time, Hummel will develop more of an all-around NBA game which will help him earn a bigger role and potentially a 8th or 9th man spot for this team if he is able to stick with them for the long run.
· The Dallas Mavericks: Like the Spurs, The Mavs are getting up there in age, and have a great coach in
Jim Carey Rick Carlisle. Like San Antonio, they also have a great core of vets: Delonte West, Jason Kidd, Brian Cardinal (Whenever Brian Cardinal’s name is mentioned in one of my articles I will take a long pause out of respect) , Jason Terry, Shawn Marion, and Dirk Nowitzki are all players you would want to have around a rookie, especially Brian Cardinal (insert pause)…and Dirk, I suppose. Can you imagine Robbie shooting after practice with Dirk Nowitzki, one of the greatest shooters of all time, and then having Brian Cardinal (insert pause) run straight into him each day to show him how to take a charge like a grown ass man? Sorry, I just drooled all over my keyboard at the thought of this. The Mavs are going to need to add some size as well this summer, and Hummel provides them with size, as well as shooting, and could have a decent role with this team, especially since Cuban has made it pretty clear that they will not be bringing back F Lamar Odom. With players like Kidd, Terry, Nowitzki, and Shawn Marion, I see Robbie flourishing in Dallas, plus being around such a personable and involved owner like Mark Cuban would make the transition from college to the NBA much easier. And if you don't get so excited that you stand up out of your seat at the thought of two Boiler greats playing on the same team, then there is something wrong with this world.
· The Denver Nuggets: I think George Karl would love to have a player like Hummel in his system. Denver really isn’t losing anyone over the next few seasons: Andre Miller could go this season and Corey Brewer the next. Denver has a great foundation with Ty Lawson at PG, Danilo Gallinari at SF, and quality bigs with Al Harrington, JaVale McGee and up and comers Kenneth Faried, Timofey Mozgov, and Kosta Koufos. The Nuggets don’t really have a set star/scorer to take over a game. But I think this could be good for Hummel. Here, he would be able to learn from another great coach in Karl, and would get the experience of playing on a well balanced team. Hummel would probably get the most playing time with Denver as well. Karl is all about giving people chances, and if Hummel consistently plays well then he’ll get his minutes. I also see a bit in common between Gallinari and Hummel, minus the fact Hummel doesn’t look like a chicken. Both take quality shots, both are good from behind the arc and at the line, and both have good size. I think Robbie could have the potential to be a better rebounder than Gallinari because of Hummel’s mindset, but the two working together and Robbie learning from The Rooster would be another great player to be mentored under. Rob would have to work his way up with this team. I could see him starting as low as the 11h or 12th option, but could work his way up from there.
Regardless of where he goes, Robbie Hummel will bust his ass to earn playing time, and do whatever it takes for his team to win, and I think that is why a successful team would be more willing to take him. I love Hummel, but he is not the player you rebuild a franchise with, so I wouldn’t expect him to go to a place like Charlotte, Washington, or Cleveland. You bring in a player like Hummel because you have what it takes to win, and you need players who come from winning backgrounds that will accept whatever role is given. Hummel doesn’t need to be a star in the NBA, but I think he could end up being a top 250 player by the end of his career, and that would be a great accomplishment in itself. All I can say is that I’m excited for June 28th and Hummel’s future.