Cavs: Taurean Prince can help bring Dylan Windler along

The Cleveland Cavaliers most notably acquired Jarrett Allen via trade last week, but also brought in Taurean Prince, who was previously on the Brooklyn Nets with Allen as well.

In regards to what the Cavs could be getting with Prince, he’d appear to factor into the wing rotation, but in some lineups, could maybe appear the 2 if the Cavs look to go big, or at the 4, even. Prince played that a bunch last season with Brooklyn with Kevin Durant sidelined.

While Prince had his ups and downs with the Nets over the course of two-plus seasons, and seemed to have an uncertain role at times, he still should be a floor spacing presence, and can create on-ball for himself some in the pull-up realm.

He can generate some paint production, too, via push shots and/or occasional drives to the rack as well. Albeit one thing that jumped out to me, in particular, with this Prince acquisition was how he could aid a younger wing for the Cavaliers, in Dylan Windler.

Windler of course will need to somehow be mostly healthy looking onward, and that’s evident, although I’d expect him to be a quality bench piece.

Windler did not appear at all last season for the Cavs in game action due to complications involving a stress reaction in his lower left leg. And in what was an awful bout of bad luck, got injured on a drive to the basket/awkward landing in Cleveland’s first game of this season and hasn’t played since because of a fourth metacarpal fracture in his left hand.

On a positive note, Windler was a full participant in the Cavs practice on Monday, as were Darius Garland and Collin Sexton, via Spencer Davies of Basketball News. Those two have missed Cleveland’s last seven and five games, respectively, due to a right shoulder sprain and left ankle sprain. Windler is out on Wednesday versus the Nets, though, whereas Garland and Sexton are questionable.

Anyhow, with Windler, swinging back, I think that Prince should aid him looking onward.

Prince can help bring Windler along for the Cavs.

Prince again had his ups and downs with the Nets, as his role game-to-game didn’t appear to be consistent. But with Brooklyn he did still have some nice moments, and can help the Cavs space the floor, and provide some on-ball production via pull-ups.

Prince, who had 8.1 points and 2.8 rebounds per outing thus far in 2020-21 in a bench role and 12.1 points and 6.0 boards per outing last season for them, should be a viable catch-and-shoot threat for Cleveland. With the Atlanta Hawks, who dealt him to Brooklyn before 2019-20, he hit 38.7 percent of his three-point attempts in his last two years there.

With Prince projecting to be mostly an off-ball/off-catch contributor, he could help bring Windler along gradually, with Prince being in his fifth season, and having been in seemingly some different situations.

The 26-year-old, who has had some success in an off-ball/some off-movement shooting role, and like Windler, is a capable defensive rebounder (5.3 per-36 minutes lifetime), could aid the Belmont product in his development.

That’s not to knock Cedi Osman, necessarily, but with Prince, albeit not all the time, being more capable on-ball defensively on the perimeter, perhaps he could give Windler pointers in that regard.

And I’d imagine Alfonzo McKinnie, who has since been traded to the Los Angeles Lakers before this season, did behind the scenes last season when Dylan was sidelined.

Moreover, Prince could help Windler with his approach as primarily an off-ball player offensively/how to time movement up to get preferred off-the-catch looks and/or when to pick his spots to counter hard closeouts/look for pull-ups.

Lastly, I’d think that with Prince having played with hard rollers/impact off-ball screeners, such as Jarrett Allen and DeAndre Jordan, that he could also aid Windler with his timing coming off screens to shoot in that realm, too.

Windler, who hit 40.6 percent of his 4.2 three-point attempts per outing in a four-year collegiate career at Belmont, and who placed in the 94th percentile in catch-and-shoot scoring in the halfcourt in 2018-19, per Synergy Sports, could definitely help Cleveland’s shooting.

Albeit a player like Prince, a veteran that’s had success in benefitting from rollers in the league could aid Windler there, who hasn’t had NBA experience at all yet aside from nine minutes in the Cavs’ opening game this year.

Osman could make a difference for Windler there with his movement, too, and likely has behind the scenes, but especially as a passer. Cedi’s done a great job in the playmaking department with the Cavaliers having been so banged up this season, and is second on Cleveland in assist rate at 19.9 percent.

In any case, a capable, 6-foot-7 veteran wing in Prince coming in here recently could help bring Windler along in his development. And perhaps we could see the two in some lineups together with Windler at the 2 and Prince at the 3, or with them at the 3/4 on occasion.