Two and a half seasons into Robbie Hummel’s career at Purdue, his road to the NBA was a clear one before one stumble changed everything for him.
“It seemed like during my junior year that it was going to be a smooth ride,” Hummel said. “Then all of a sudden you have this one bad jump-stop and everything got crazy.”
After two serious season-ending ACL injuries, Hummel is now expected to be drafted Thursday night after a month of scouts watching every step he took, including a 45-50 performance from behind the arc with Heat president Pat Riley watching in Miami last week.
ESPN’s Chad Ford has projected Hummel to be drafted in the second round, with the 47th pick, to the Utah Jazz. Rumors of the Heat, Spurs, and Raptors being interested are also abundant.
Hummel has worked out for a dozen different teams in the past month, with each workout bringing additional praise.
“I’ve been really busy with going all over the place,” he said. “I had 12 workouts so it got tiring but I’m done now. I had my last one with Toronto last night. I shot it really well down in Miami. I think athletically I’m getting close to where I was before I got hurt.”
Having former Purdue standouts and current Boston Celtics teammates, E’Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson to go to for advice was one of the good things to come out of the injury redshirts, Hummel said.
“They just told me that I needed to pace myself and that it was going to be a long process,” Hummel said. “They were right. It was hard. If I had a question, I just gave them a call because they worked out for a majority of the teams last year.”
After his grueling month of workouts, Hummel’s final one for the Bobcats in Charlotte, N.C., was canceled Tuesday. He returned to West Lafayette a day earlier than planned and visited the Boilermakers during their workout.
Senior guard D.J. Byrd said he didn’t notice any nervousness coming from Hummel.
“He’s seemed pretty confident,” Byrd said. “He’s really worked hard and got himself to where he is right now. I think with his confidence and with his body being 95–100% he’s going to get drafted and experience everything he’s been waiting for.”
Purdue head coach Matt Painter says that while he would love to see his former star player’s name called Thursday, the NBA draft isn’t really defining.
“It’s not the end of the road (not getting drafted),” Painter said in a teleconference Monday. “There are guys that get drafted who don’t stay in the league and also guys who go undrafted and end up being great NBA players.”
Regardless of whether it matters in the long run, Painter still believes Hummel should be among the group of 60 selected this year.
“He has too many intangibles,” Painter said. “I think he has a place on every team. Guys like him always have a place on any team, because whether he starts, is in the rotation or barely plays, he’s going to be good for the organization.”