Cavs: A mini Summer League/joint practices would pay dividends for Dylan Windler

Cleveland Cavaliers Dylan Windler (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers Dylan Windler (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images) /

If he’d able to participate, a potential mini Summer League and/or joint practices would pay dividends for Cleveland Cavaliers young wing Dylan Windler.

As Cleveland Cavaliers fans now know, the 2019-20 season for the Wine and Gold is officially over, as of reports on Thursday afternoon.

The Cavs, as was expected with them having the league’s second-worst record at 19-46 going into the novel coronavirus-induced hiatus, are done.

The Wine and Gold were clearly not one of the league’s top 22 teams, of which are going to be participants in the league’s season resumption via centralized site at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney World in Orlando.

For the Cavaliers and other clubs that are done, they could be without game action until early December, which is currently when the tentative date is for the start of the 2020-21 NBA season.

As Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium said after reporting that suggested target date, though, that date, among others, “can remain fluid.”

Not playing games until December for the Cavs, among other teams, would be really unfortunate, and it’d be tough for Cleveland’s young pieces, such as Darius Garland, Collin Sexton and Kevin Porter Jr.

With that sort of thing in mind for them and other teams, “several teams” whose season has concluded “have proposed ideas for regional mini summer leagues, training camps and organized team activities,” according to a report on late Friday from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Wojnarowski also said most of the teams that are done have pushed to “engage in joint practices” in preparation for “regional summer leagues in August.”

Woj then also said how “the Pistons and Cavaliers have discussed the possibility of joint practices as a prelude to a mini-pod of games,” for instance.

Woj touched on how teams would want those mini summer league games to be televised, and additionally, hit on “the front-office ideas” that have been presented to the league, as follows.

"“A combination of voluntary and mandatory workouts for two weeks in July.Regional minicamps in August that include joint practices for a period of days and approximately three televised games.Organized team activities (OTAs) for mid-September.Teams want an opportunity for training camps to start seven to 10 days earlier for the 2020-21 season for those teams left out of Orlando.”"

What jumps out to me from this report from Woj is that he expressed how teams are concerned that young players that need to progress in their development essentially need more reps, and cannot be away from playing organized basketball for what would be so long.

That’s aside from currently limited workouts with restrictions seemingly built in, at least to an extent, for a considerable bit more, realistically.

Factoring in this proposal sent to the league by non-Orlando teams, which would seem reasonable to be granted to keep players more engaged in the game, especially young players, a few Cavaliers would come to mind that’d benefit most from joint practices and a few televised games.

Regarding this mini Summer League-type format with joint practices, it’s evident that Cleveland Cavaliers wing Dylan Windler, if able to participate, this would really pay dividends for.

Dylan Windler, as Cavs fans are well-aware of, did not play at all, in what was technically his rookie year for the Cleveland Cavaliers. That was due to complications involving a stress reaction in his left leg.

It was at least a positive that the 23-year-old Windler, had the Cavs had more games to play in Orlando if they were going to be participants, reportedly could’ve maybe been a participant, and made his debut, if you will. That’s not going to be the case, however.

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If this mini Summer League-type format also featuring joint practices happens, though, Windler would clearly benefit in a big way, and would jump out in relation to the Cleveland Cavaliers’ perspective among players.

I’m not certain if he’d be able to play just yet, but it would seem to be a good possibility, based on what was previously mentioned.

Anyhow, I agree with’s Terry Pluto, who touched on how being able to participate in this sort of format before next season, if possible, would be a “big deal” for Windler if he’d be able to do so.

Windler needs reps, and though I firmly believe he’ll be a key bench piece for the Cavs next season, the more experience he can get alongside his teammates, and more so against other teams, the better for his development.

It’d also be good to see Windler out there in what I’d hope would be televised game action, and he could very well flash his potential as a possible sharpshooting wing.

Windler shot 40.6 percent from three-point range in a four-year career at Belmont, per Sports Reference, and also is a polished pull-up shooter and is a more than capable ambidextrous finisher near the rim. He is a solid ball-mover, too.

Getting some opportunity in this mini Summer League play and/or joint practices before next season for Windler, and being able to build at least a bit of on-floor chemistry alongside Porter, Larry Nance Jr. and perhaps Cedi Osman and/or Kevin Love would pay dividends for the young wing. That’d be even with the games not being regular season ones.

Hopefully for Windler, who did participate in Cavs’ Summer League play last year, and other young Cavs’ young pieces, this opportunity down the road arises for the squad before the 2020-21 season.

Andre Drummond, for example, would potentially not be a participant, given he may be a free agent this fall, but either way, he is reportedly likely to pick up his $28.8 million player option for next season. So I could still see him be in play in this suggested scenario, regarding him likely being back in 2020-21, anyway.

There is not set to be Summer League play yet this year, given the impact of COVID-19, but if possible and with proper safety measures taken, this proposal by non-Orlando participant teams could be very productive. That’d again be the case for very inexperienced players like Windler, even more so.

Next. One key goal for Darius Garland for 2020-21. dark

Waiting until December to play game action again would be really tough for the Wine and Gold and other teams not participating in Orlando, such as the Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks.