Cavaliers: Two realistic expectations for Dylan Windler next season

Cleveland Cavaliers guard/forward Dylan Windler poses for a rookie photo. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers guard/forward Dylan Windler poses for a rookie photo. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

After having to sit out his whole rookie season to this point due to injury, Cleveland Cavaliers wing Dylan Windler will have some expectations to meet next season.

As difficult and frustrating as the season has gone for the Cleveland Cavaliers so far, rookie guard/forward Dylan Windler must be feeling some of the pain and frustration too, as the Cavs announced back in January that he would not make his debut this season and would miss the remainder of the season due to complications involving a stress reaction in his left leg.

Even if the Cavaliers do potentially play more games in 2019-20, which is uncertain in regards to the novel coronavirus pandemic, Windler likely won’t be in action anyway.

Windler was selected by the Cavs with the 26th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, making him one of two first-round selections the Cavs had last year. Cleveland eventually acquired Kevin Porter Jr., too, via trade with the Detroit Pistons, who had the then-30th overall pick after a deal with Milwaukee Bucks before the draft.

Windler spent all four years of college at Belmont, becoming a star for the school as time went on. One number that stands out to me the most is that Windler was shooting 42.0-plus percent from three-point land in both his junior and senior year of college ball. Obviously, the NBA is way different than college ball and Stephen Curry is one of, if not the greatest shooter of all time, but to put this into perspective, Curry has a career three-point field goal percentage of 43.5 percent.

Now Curry has done that as a volume shooter, too, and it is very hard, especially in the NBA, to consistently shoot 40.0 percent from deep. So what’s a realistic expectation number one for Windler next year, then?

Shooting the ball at a consistent level.

Again, those numbers speak for themselves. As Windler’s field goal percentage went up in college, so did the rest of his stats. In his junior year, Windler averaged 17.3 points and then jumped to 21.3 points per outing in his senior season, as documented by Sports Reference, with his field goal percentage from beyond the three-point line rising by the season.

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Currently, the highest percentage shooter for the Cavs from deep is actually Tristan Thompson at 39.1 percent, given the obviously very limited amount of attempts, being just 0.4 per game, per Behind him and the most reasonable number to consider is Cedi Osman, shooting from range at a mark of 38.3 percent.

If the Cavs can get a consistent three-point shooter in Windler, someone who can give them around three triples per game feasibly off the bench, that would be a big boost to their arsenal. Another expectation?

Providing excellent floor spacing.

With center Andre Drummond coming to town from Detroit near the 2020 trade deadline, it seems as though the Cavs have had difficulty with spacing and he has been out of rhythm it seems.

Given he has played limited games with his new teammates and has had limited practice time, it makes sense. With that being said, being a consistent shooter comes with solid floor spacing, which would help out Drummond, who is “likely” to pick up his $28.8 million player option for next season, according to’s Chris Fedor.

A unit that could consist of at least Collin Sexton, Drummond and Windler at times in the future could be deadly if the consistent shooting is there.

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It would enable Sexton to run the offense and spread the floor alongside Windler, while getting Drummond more interior space to work with. Windler could help out an inside-out big in Kevin Love in that way, too.

When it comes to numbers, it is impossible to predict what Windler will produce without seeing him out on the floor. That said, catching a glimpse of what he is capable of during the summer league was pretty exciting.

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If he can simply go out there and give Cleveland a few triples a game, space the floor and be a nice ball-mover in the second unit, I can see him fitting in just fine with what the Cleveland Cavaliers are trying to build here in Cleveland.