Dylan Windler could be a good fit in Cavs closing lineups

Cleveland Cavaliers wing Dylan Windler shoots the ball. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers wing Dylan Windler shoots the ball. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Cavaliers should benefit from Dylan Windler’s presence in the rotation for them next season.

The 2019-20 season for Cleveland Cavaliers rookie Dylan Windler was over before it really started.

Dylan Windler missed the entire now-past NBA season for the Cleveland Cavaliers and only played a few games with their G-League affiliate, the Canton Charge, but spent most of the year recovering from a stress reaction in his left leg.

But Windler was recently given the “green light” to be a participant in the Cavaliers in-market bubble workouts that will run from September 14-October 6, according to a report from Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor.

While Windler will surely need time to get accustomed to playing alongside his new teammates, having a role in the closing lineup for the Cavaliers is something that could eventually happen at some point next season.

Windler could be a good fit in closing lineups for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

First and foremost, Windler was a great shooter from beyond the three-point arc in college. Overall for his four-year career at Belmont, he connected on 40.6 percent of his three-point attempts, and that number was even higher for his senior season as Windler hit 42.9 percent from deep.

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What makes Windler such a deadly weapon from beyond the arc is his quick release and that he does not need much space to get a shot off.

Where this comes into play for Windler in a closing lineup is when Collin Sexton or Darius Garland drives to the hoop and attracts multiple defenders, Windler’s quick release and accuracy from long distance can make teams pay for overplaying a guard making a move to the basket.

Windler, though, is more than just a good shooter and can use his cutting ability to fool defenses late. With defenses respecting Windler’s long-range shot, he could use that to his advantage and sneak backdoor or fill an open lane left by the defense helping on a drive to the hoop.

In his final season at Belmont, Windler placed in the 96th percentile on shots around the rim in the halfcourt, per Synergy Sports, and his finishing ability could help the Cavs offense when he’s in there.

Plus, he also converted on 84.7 percent of his foul shots, proving that even when he cannot convert at the rim, he makes teams pay from the foul line.

Another aspect of Dylan Windler’s game that would help him fit into a closing lineup eventually is his ability to handle the ball and push the pace late in games. This would allow Sexton or even Kevin Porter Jr. to play off the ball at times down the stretch and give the defense a different look.

A number that still stands out is Windler’s 10.8 rebounds that he averaged in his final season of college. It is a near-certain possibility Windler won’t ever average that many rebounds at the NBA level, but possessing that rebounding skill and feel/timing as a forward is something that would benefit a Cavaliers lineup. And in crunch time situations, even more so.

The defensive end is another area where Windler can be a solid contributor late in games. He averaged 1.4 steals per game in his final season in college, which shows his ability to play the passing lanes well, which could help create late turnovers and fastbreak chances for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Windler may not be the quickest or the fastest player on the court, but he makes up for that with having sound basketball IQ. Windler was a focal point of the Belmont offense and did average only 2.1 turnovers per game. Late in games, when the situations get tight, it is best to have players out on the floor who have that high basketball knowledge.

Given Windler’s rebounding ability and overall offensive strengths, a closing lineup, including him, seems to be inevitable at some point in the 2020-2021 season, and he could very well help the Cavs in those situations.

Now we may be jumping the gun here, after all, Windler still has yet to play a minute in an NBA game.

Next. A Kevin Porter Jr.-Dylan Windler pick-and-pop could be very effective. dark

But Windler does seem to have the makings of a solid rotational player, and if he can avoid another injury setback, he could be a fixture of the Wine & Gold lineup for years to come, and could be a good fit in closing lineups.