Cavs: Dylan Windler should have plenty of fuel and stay aggressive

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) /

When he gets his chances, Cleveland Cavaliers wing Dylan Windler, who should have plenty of fuel, needs to be and stay aggressive.

I’m probably higher on the prospects of what Dylan Windler can bring for the Cleveland Cavaliers than most heading into the 2020-21 season. Windler of course did not appear in what was supposed to be his rookie season due to complications involving a stress reaction in his left leg.

That had to have been so tough for him, but he just needs to put the past behind him, as I’m sure he has. It is a positive and I’m hopeful that Windler can make his presence felt for Cleveland next season, though, considering that he is progressing well in his rehab.

Also, had the Cavs been invited to Orlando and had a handful of more regular season games, Windler reportedly could’ve make his Cleveland debut. So with that being the case, if the Cavaliers do end up having four Summer League-type games in a second Chicago “bubble,” which could happen in September, per a report from ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan, perhaps we could see Windler then.

That second bubble is seemingly anything but a certainty, though, because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Regardless, the focus for Cavs fans and the organization is still more so on the upcoming draft and the 2020-21 campaign.

In this case, in relation to Windler, next season again is what I’ll be focusing on here. While I fully acknowledge that Windler hasn’t played with the Cavaliers yet, I firmly believe he’ll be a key rotational piece for the Wine and Gold, and perhaps even early on.

Windler hit 40.6 percent of his three-point shooting attempts in a four-year collegiate career at Belmont, including 42.9 percent from deep as a senior, and he could bring a notable floor spacing element. While I get the competition was absolutely not the NBA level for Windler, he has a very quick release, compact stroke and could end up being a knockdown shooter for Cleveland.

I believe that will end up being the case via spot-ups and off of movement/relocation off-the-catch, and Windler is a polished pull-up shooter that has a nice handle. Along with that, Windler has quality secondary playmaking instincts and is a willing passer, and that could help out pieces such as Kevin Porter Jr. and Larry Nance Jr. a bunch.

Now I can’t say for certain how Windler will do in what will technically be his rookie campaign for the Cavs, but what is clear is Windler will have plenty of fuel.

That’s regarding the motivational sense, as I’m sure plenty, though they would not say it publicly, see Windler as a complete unknown. It does seem as if Cavaliers fans to a decent extent feel that way also. Granted, I’m sure Windler will take some time to get his legs under him, if you will, and I don’t expect him to be completely lighting it up right out of the gate.

That said, Windler just needs to fully utilize his motivation seemingly building and stay aggressive for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The 2019-20 season had to be so frustrating for Windler, who could have given Cleveland a real boost and gotten off to a nice start. Albeit it’s obviously not Windler’s fault that he wasn’t able to play, but next season, I expect Windler to have a productive start to his career.

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Windler should have no shortage of motivation to do so, and especially with Darius Garland and Kevin Porter Jr. being two of Cleveland’s most important on-ball pieces.

Porter, for instance, was Cedi Osman’s primary backup at the 3 position, seemingly due to Windler’s injury. He did show plenty of flashes of big-time potential for the Cavs in his minutes, too, with 10.0 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 0.9 steals in 23.2 minutes per outing.

I could very well see Porter and Windler establishing a terrific rapport in 2020-21 as the year progresses, though.

Anyway, while Windler could potentially be a starting replacement for Osman, who isn’t Cleveland’s long term answer there, I at least foresee Windler as being one of Cleveland’s most important bench pieces in the near future.

Windler’s shooting off-the-catch and off-the bounce, coupled with his secondary playmaking, should provide pop for the Cleveland Cavaliers in his minutes-share.

With his great finishing touch and timing, I could definitely see Windler establishing himself as the Cavs’ best cutter, too. What’s crucial for Windler, though, is again staying aggressive in his minutes and not being deterred if shots aren’t falling in some stretches.

I just want to see Windler play with confidence, and not be passive, even early on. In the next couple of years, he could end up becoming one of Cleveland’s best volume shooters.

So again, the key for Windler for next season, of which he should have plenty of motivational fuel after not getting to play in 2019-20, is keeping his foot on the gas. That’s along the lines of leaning into hopefully a significant shooting/offensive role in his minutes.

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If he does that, I see that leading to plenty of success for him in year one, whether that’s primarily at the 2 or 3. Let’s just hope he’s healthy.