Other than Isaac Okoro, Kavas has a new player on their roster: Dylan Windler. Although drafted in 2019, Windler is technically an upcoming rookie in the 2020-21 NBA season. This is due to the fact that Wendler dealt with a persistent lower leg injury throughout the past season, mostly due to John Beilin’s fatigue while playing in the Summer League in Salt Lake City. But now, with Wendler, who has had so many injuries, he can finally explain to everyone why the organization believes him so much.
As mentioned earlier, there really hasn’t been a season for Windler – at least at the NBA level. While recovering, Windler got the green light to rehab with Cleveland’s Canton Charge. In his two appearances, Windler scored an average of 6.5 points at 44.4% shooting for 4.0 rebounds, 0.5 assists and one steal per game. Unfortunately, however, Wendler suffered another setback in his recovery and had to miss the remainder of the season – which only delayed his inevitable debut in the Cavs.
But Windler is now in good health based on all the reports by Cleveland of Things and he is expected to play a huge role with the squad this season. The theoretical divergence and appeal that Windler provides offensively is one of his biggest selling points when trying to figure out what exactly this role would be like. While at Belmont, Windler called 40.2% of 4.2 three-point attempts per game. His shot mechanics were smooth and consistent and was one of the sure things in his game to translate it to NBA level.
In his NBA debut against his hometown Indiana Pacers over the weekend, Windler failed to call in all of his three-point attempts. Now, that doesn’t mean he’s the next Luke Jackson to Cleveland, but it does show that all the time being removed from the game, especially with the ongoing pandemic, has had an effect on his ability to communicate in his shots. Fortunately, fluid mechanics is still in place. Just give Windler some time and he’ll call these tries in no time at all.
Overall, Windler could beautifully fill a similar role as Utah’s Joe Ingles in the Cavs. Windler has the skill set to be a floor stretching forward which can also provide some strong positional defense and tier 3 playmaking industry as well. Cleveland coach GB Bickerstaff also envisions Windler able to play 2-4 on the field for the team, similar to Inglis. At just 196 pounds, Windler would need to add some bulk to his hull in order to outgrow the traditional strikers in the NBA today. But, that’s definitely possible because he’s still growing in his body at the NBA level.
Other than his three-point shot, the key element to watch for Wendler is his ability to win. While at Belmont, Windler averaged 10.8 rebounds per match in his first season – which is great for someone in office. Other than his shooting skill, this statistical anomaly makes you think that it is something that will translate to the level of the NBA. So far, it looks like this. In his first aforementioned NBA debut against the Pacers, Windler snatched eight boards in 23 minutes of play – his biggest position on the Cleveland list that night. Wendler, who joins the likes of Larry Nance Jr., Kevin Love and Andre Drummond, gives the Cavs an impressive quartet of players who can only let the team improve statistically as well.
Windler is a slightly wild carder heading into Cleveland’s 2020-21 season. In theory, his skill set compliments what the organization is trying to build beautifully with his ability to shoot from three points as well as the rest of his versatile skill set. But it all depends on whether or not he can stay healthy and steady. If he can do both, the Cavs are in a much better place in the current rebuilding process. If not, Cleveland may have to take a long hard look at the perceived long-term value of the Windler as either a base piece or a commercial asset that could be bundled into a future move. Hopefully it’s the first, not the last, for Windler. As a team in desperate need of three-point shooting and game making, Windler is an answer to your cleveland hunger quenching.
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