At this point, us Cleveland Cavaliers fans don’t know what we’ll be seeing from Dylan Windler just yet, but we need to be patient with him.
The 23-year-old out of Belmont has had complications with a stress reaction in his left leg, and whether or not the 2019-20 NBA season does resume, at least in some capacity, of which you can view reported updates here, we probably won’t see Windler appear at all during this season.
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To quickly add to that, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium (subscription required), the NBA is considering beginning the 2020-21 season on Christmas, but we’ll see. The league will be weighing its’ options going forward, but whether or not the next season does start later, I’d expect Windler to be much healthier.
Regardless, though, us Cavs fans need to be patient with the Belmont product.
No, he hasn’t been able to contribute for the Wine and Gold on the floor in 2019-20, but I firmly believe Windler will do so in coming years.
In a four-year collegiate career, Windler, while I understand Belmont is not in a conference such as the ACC or Big Ten, still hit 40.6 percent of his three-point shot attempts, per Sports Reference.
For a Cavs squad that has been up-and-down from three-point land to a large degree thus far this season, I’d imagine that the 6-foot-6 Windler could be a quality floor spacer for Cleveland in the near future, and feasibly as he gets him his legs more under him next season.
The smooth shooting lefty in Windler likely has more pull-up polish than Cedi Osman initially in his first two years, too. The two could realistically play off each other well with Windler perhaps at the 2 in some instances, though, and Windler is a solid ball-mover and instinctive cutter with good ambidextrous finishing touch.
Moreover, while we don’t know exactly the kind of minutes workload, and of course, production, that we’ll be seeing from Windler for the Cleveland Cavaliers, fans have to be patient with Windler.
It will take time for him to adjust, and defensively, I’d think he could very well struggle getting through off-ball screens to contest wing shooters, and it will be adjustment period on-ball for him.
That being said, I’d expect that as next season progresses, Windler will become a key bench contributor for the Cavs. Could Windler, if he were healthy, have potentially moved up to a starting 3 role for Osman, who has been fairly underwhelming for Cleveland thus far this season, as Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor suggested?
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Sure, and perhaps next season, we could see that eventually, but I’d imagine Auburn’s Isaac Okoro, for example, could be more so a starting 3 option, given Okoro’s defensive traits, outstanding IQ and switchability.
Anyway, I also believe, given that he’s shown the ability already, even though it was at Belmont, that a potential key bench contributor at the 2/3 in Windler could bring more of a shooting off movement element to the Cavaliers’ offense, which could use more of that moving forward.
So, at any rate, while we again are unsure about Windler, Cavs fans must stay patient with him.
Is Windler going to step right in and be a player that plays nearly half the game for Cleveland and is a 10.0 or so point-per-game scorer that also hits 40.0 percent of his three-point attempts, while also getting close to his senior average of 10.8 rebounds per game?
That’s not going to be the case.
As next season progresses and he gets more comfortable, though, I’d think Windler will end up being a mainstay in the Cavs’ rotation, given the shooting/spacing/cutting element he’d likely provide as he gets his footing more, and being on the floor with Alfonzo McKinnie at the 4 could seemingly help Windler on defense at times.
Windler will need to stay mostly healthy, but in coming years, I’d think he’ll eventually be an integral piece for the Cleveland Cavaliers alongside pieces such as feasibly a combination of Sexton, Garland and/or Porter as the Wine and Gold look to continue moving in the right direction in their rebuild.
Again, give Windler plenty of time to get going, Cavs fans. Don’t write the youngster off.