Dylan Windler

Central Notes: Wanamaker, Windler, Markkanen, Nwora

Veteran point guard Brad Wanamaker signed a training camp deal with the Pacers this week and he’s out to prove he deserves a spot on the 15-man roster, David Woods of The Indianapolis Star writes.

“I didn’t come here just to come here,” Wanamaker said. “I came here to compete, show what I’m capable of and try to make the roster.”

Wanamaker has a shot to be the third point man behind Malcolm Brogdon and T.J. McConnell.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Following two injury-riddled seasons, Dylan Windler is making his case for a rotation spot as the Cavaliers’ backup wing, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer notes. Windler had 12 points and four rebounds in 22 minutes in Cleveland’s preseason game on Friday. “To be out here at the start of the season and contributing in the ways that I’m supposed to, it feels great,” he said. “I don’t control the rotations. That’s coach’s job. I’ve just got to come in, get my work in, do what I do and continue to prove myself when I get the opportunities.”
  • Lauri Markkanen will spend most of his time at power forward but Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff also plans to use him at small forward in jumbo lineups, according to Kelsey Russo of The Athletic. “It’s one of those things where I believe he’s one of our best players,” Bickerstaff said. “So we have to do what we can to get him on the floor so he can help us. His versatility helps. Right now, you see the strength of our bigs and the fact that they are so versatile and they can play next to each other, you can get them out there on the floor.”
  • Forward Jordan Nwora only appeared in 30 regular-season games with the Bucks during his rookie campaign but he’s angling for more playing time this season, Eric Nehm of The Athletic writes. Coach Mike Budenholzer is looking for Nwora, a second-round pick in 2020, to become a more complete player. “I think, defensively, he’s making progress in practice, making progress in the games,” Budenholzer said. “He’s really got to improve on that end, and he’s making steps in the right direction.” Nwora will be a free agent next summer, either restricted if he receives a qualifying offer, or unrestricted.

Central Notes: Cavs’ Rotation, Pacers’ TPE, Vaulet, Cunningham

Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff is planning on a 10-man rotation but the last two spots could change from game-to-game, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer speculates.

“We’re working our way to what will be probably a 10-man rotation and then there’s different nights that are going to call for different things and we will go to those different guys,” Bickerstaff said.

By process of elimination, Denzel Valentine, Kevin Pangos, Cedi Osman, Dylan Windler, Dean Wade, Lamar Stevens and Mfiondu Kabengele are the players vying for those rotation minutes and each brings a different skill set to the table.

We have more on the Central Division:

  • The Pacers picked up a $7.33MM traded player exception from the Spurs in the Doug McDermott sign-and-trade but it’s highly unlikely they’ll use it this season, according to John Hollinger of The Athletic. They were just $763,905 below the luxury tax line before dumping Edmond Sumner‘s contract on Wednesday, which moved them $2.8MM under the tax line. That’s still not nearly enough incentive to use the exception, since the franchise has no desire to be a taxpayer.
  • The Pacers received the rights to Juan Pablo Vaulet in the Sumner trade with Brooklyn but he won’t be playing in the NBA this season, Nat Newell of the Indianapolis Star notes. He signed a two-year contract with AEK Athens in July. The 6’6” Vaulet was originally drafted by Charlotte in 2015.
  • Top pick Cade Cunningham sat out the Pistons‘ preseason opener against San Antonio on Wednesday, Rod Beard of The Detroit News tweets. Cunningham is recovering from a mild ankle sprain.

Central Notes: Windler, Cunningham, Lecque, Bucks, Dosunmu

Cavaliers forward Dylan Windler is eager to prove himself this season after dealing with multiple injuries to start his career, Kelsey Russo of The Athletic writes.

Windler, 25, was drafted by the team No. 26 overall in 2019. He’s appeared in just 31 games since then, all coming during the 2020/21 season. The Belmont product averaged 5.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 16.5 minutes per game in those contests.

“My knee is feeling the best it’s felt since I’ve been here, so that’s huge for me,” Windler said. “That was half the battle for me last year, fighting through that. It led to more problems, not only physically but mentally.

“I’m in a clear headspace right now. Had the best training camp I’ve had by far, so I’m ready to prove myself all over again and help this team win a lot of games.”

Here are some other notes from the Central Division:

  • The Pistons are being patient with rookie Cade Cunningham‘s development, Rod Beard of The Detroit News writes. Detroit drafted Cunningham No. 1 overall this summer, cementing the 20-year-old as its franchise cornerstone going forward.
  • The Bucks recently brought in Jalen Lecque as part of a free-agent group workout, according to Ian Begley of SNY.tv. Lecque has only appeared in nine NBA games since going undrafted in 2019. He appeared in 14 contests with the Pacers’ G League affiliate last season, averaging 14.3 points per game on 39% shooting. Milwaukee currently has 20 players under contract, the most it’s allowed to have at once.
  • Bulls rookie Ayo Dosunmu has received praise during training camp for his strong play, Sam Smith of NBA.com writes. Chicago selected him with the No. 38 pick in this year’s draft. “The scrimmages and practices have been great,” Dosunmu said as part of a larger quote. “I come out here each and every day and compete to make our team better. They’ve been using me as a point guard on the second unit and a combo guard on the second unit, someone who will go out there and make guys better, use my playmaking skills and also being tenacious on defense. Running the floor, playing the right way, trying just to carve a role out on the team.”

Cavs Rumors: Sexton, Love, Vaccinations, Windler, Valentine

Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton was the subject of some trade rumors earlier in the offseason, but he remains in Cleveland and general manager Koby Altman said today that he wants Sexton to stay with the team for years to come, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com.

“We want him here long term. He wants to be here long term. We’re working with his representation to see that through, but this is someone that has been with us since the start of this thing and we love him,” Altman told reporters. “We will deal with that behind closed doors. The feelings are mutual in terms of something long term.”

Sexton is eligible for a rookie scale extension up until October 18, the day before the regular season begins. While Altman didn’t go into much detail about those negotiations, Fedor suggests that De’Aaron Fox, Donovan Mitchell, and Jaylen Brown have been brought up in those talks as possible financial comparables. Fox and Mitchell signed maximum-salary deals, while Brown received slightly below the max.

If the Cavs and Sexton don’t reach an extension agreement in the coming weeks, neither Altman nor head coach J.B. Bickerstaff expects the fourth-year guard’s contract situation to affect his performance on the court this season, for better or worse.

“I don’t think (the contract) will ever affect Collin’s internal drive,” Altman said, per Fedor. “I don’t think contract or anything else will ever affect that. He just innately loves this game and wants to get better.”

Here’s more on the Cavs:

  • According to Fedor (Twitter link), Kevin Love told reporters on Monday that there were never conversations this offseason about him accepting a buyout, and he has yet to have a conversation with Bickerstaff about his role for the upcoming season.
  • Altman said his expectation is that everyone on the roster will be vaccinated against COVID-19 within the next few weeks (Twitter link via Fedor).
  • Multiple sources tell Fedor that Dylan Windler‘s left knee is “feeling good” following April surgery, and the third-year wing is expected to be available for training camp. As one of the team’s better shooters, Windler could be in line for a regular role this season, but he’ll have stay healthy, writes Fedor.
  • Denzel Valentine‘s two-year, minimum-salary deal with Cleveland has a $500K partial guarantee in 2021/22, tweets Keith Smith of Spotrac. Valentine’s second-year salary is fully non-guaranteed.

Cavs Rumors: Simmons, Love, Frontcourt, Valentine, Mathews, Windler

The Cavaliers, who have been mentioned throughout the summer as a possible Ben Simmons suitor, continue to have interest in landing the Sixers star, writes Marc Stein of Substack.

Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com mentioned Cleveland’s pursuit of the three time All-Star today as well, adding that the Cavs could enter the fray as a third team in a Simmons trade in order to acquire either Simmons or a different asset, like they did in the James Harden trade to acquire Jarrett Allen (Taurean Prince was also acquired by the Cavs in the Harden deal, and was recently traded to the Timberwolves for Ricky Rubio).

There’s more from Cleveland:

  • The Cavaliers continue to be in a tough spot with Kevin Love, Fedor notes. Love played just 25 games last season and his impact on the court has diminished over the course of his contract, which still has two years and $60MM remaining. Such a hefty sum will make it difficult to trade Love without attaching assets, which doesn’t interest the Cavs unless they feel the situation becomes untenable. Fedor adds that the previously rumored buyout talks went nowhere, which means the team and player are stuck with each other — for now.
  • Evan Mobley is the presumed starting power forward for the Cavs, with $100MM man Allen slotting in at center, Fedor opines, which would make newly-acquired Lauri Markkanen the team’s de facto sixth man. How coach J.B. Bickerstaff manages the frontcourt situation is worth monitoring for a number of reasons, particularly because Markkanen was disappointed about coming off the bench for the Bulls last season, per K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. According to Fedor, the Cavs have talked about having Mobley, Allen, and Markkanen each playing about 26-30 minutes per night.
  • The Cavs continue to look for wing depth and shooting, Fedor notes, which is crucial to the team’s offensive development. The Cavs were one of the worst shooting teams in the league last season, ranking 25th in FG%, 26th in FT%, 29th in 3PT made, 28th 3PT attempts, and 30th in 3PT%. Sources tell Fedor that Denzel Valentine is interested in Cleveland and that Garrison Mathews could be another possible target.
  • Dylan Windler, who underwent surgery in April on his left knee, isn’t a lock to be ready for the start of training camp, says Fedor.

Eastern Notes: Fournier, C. Smith, Windler, Madar

Originally reported as being a four-year deal that could be worth up to $78MM, Evan Fournier‘s new contract with the Knicks could actually max out at $79MM, but only has a base value of $73MM, according to breakdowns from Bobby Marks of ESPN and Keith Smith of Spotrac (Twitter links). The deal, which has a fourth-year team option, includes $1.5MM in annual unlikely incentives that account for that $6MM difference.

The exact value of Fournier’s first-year salary is $17,142,857, according to Smith. That figure is important because the traded player exception created by the Celtics in their sign-and-trade of Fournier to the Knicks is equivalent to that amount. Boston will have until the 2022 offseason to use that $17.14MM trade exception.

Here’s more from around the East:

  • The two-way contract that undrafted rookie Chris Smith signed with the Pistons will cover two seasons, according to Keith Smith (Twitter link).
  • A first-round pick in 2019, Cavaliers wing Dylan Windler tells Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com that his NBA career has been a “really bumpy and rough road” so far. Windler, who is recovering from left knee surgery, has been limited to 31 NBA games in two seasons due to various health issues and acknowledges that he may be facing a make-or-break season. “I don’t really want to put that much pressure on myself, but in reality, yeah it is,” Windler said to Fedor. “The league is a hard place to stick around. Not a lot of guys last. I’m just hoping this season I can be fully healthy and pain free and then I will be able to show people what I can do when I’m at 100 percent. If that isn’t enough, then at the end of the day, you have to live with that.”
  • KK Partizan officially announced the signing of Celtics draft-and-stash guard Yam Madar to a three-year contract. While the Serbian team’s press release doesn’t mention NBA outs, Madar’s new deal will likely give him the opportunity to come stateside if and when Boston is ready to add the 2020 second-rounder to its roster, but it appears that won’t happen in 2021/22.

Central Notes: Markkanen, Bulls, Windler, Garland

Lauri Markkanen hasn’t been in the Bulls’ starting lineup since March, but the power forward doesn’t consider himself a second-unit player, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago tweets. “I still believe I’m a starter in this league,” he said. Markkanen is headed to free agency — the Bulls will have to extend him a $9MM qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • The Bulls trailed the Wizards by three games for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference entering Monday’s action. However, coach Billy Donovan said that holding out key players and going into tank mode hasn’t been discussed with executive VP of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times writes. “No, I haven’t had any conversations like that,” Donovan said.
  • Dylan Windler‘s latest injury will probably prevent him from playing in the Summer League, but the Cavaliers swingman could be cleared by the start of next season. That’s the conclusion of medical professionals contacted by The Athletic’s Kelsey Russo regarding Windler’s left knee surgery. He went under the knife last month to address ongoing patellar tendinopathy concerns. The typical recovery time for that type of surgery is about four months for an elite-level athlete, Russo was told.
  • The Cavaliers are listing seven players as out for Tuesday’s game, including Darius Garland, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer tweets. Cleveland has been granted a hardship exception due to its injury issues.

Dylan Windler Undergoes Knee Surgery, Out Indefinitely

It appears that Dylan Windler‘s season will come to an early end, as the Cavaliers announced today in a press release that the young swingman has undergone surgery on his left knee to address “ongoing patella tendinopathy concerns.”

The Cavs’ announcement doesn’t explicitly state that Windler’s season is over. However, there are less than four weeks left until the regular season ends and he has been ruled out indefinitely, so it seems pretty unlikely that we’ll see him again before 2021/22.

It’s an unfortunate turn of events for Windler, who was also sidelined for his entire rookie year in 2019/20 due to a left leg injury and missed time earlier this season after suffering a fractured hand.

When he did play this year, Windler showed some promise. The 24-year-old, a first-round pick out of Belmont in 2019, averaged 5.2 points and 3.5 rebounds in 31 games (16.5 MPG), knocking down 33.8% of his three-point attempts.

After being limited to just 31 contests through his first two NBA seasons, Windler will look to have a healthier ’21/22 campaign. He’ll earn $2.24MM next season, with a decision on his $4.04MM team option for 2022/23 due this fall.

Central Notes: Windler, Garland, Sexton, Teague, Markkanen

Cavaliers swingman Dylan Windler has been experiencing knee pain recently and will undergo further evaluation in the next few days, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer tweets. Windler, a late 2019 first-round pick, didn’t play at all last season due to injury. He’s seen action in 31 games this season off the bench, averaging 5.2 PPG, 3.5 RPG and 1.1 APG in 16.5 MPG.

Windler suffered a hand fracture in the season opener, which kept him out of action for nearly a month. The Cavs picked up their $2,239,200 third year option on the 24-year-old in December.

We have more on the Central Division:

  • Utah’s backcourt of Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell provides a blueprint of how the Cavaliers’ backcourt Darius Garland and Collin Sexton might eventually work, Fedor writes.  Thus far, it’s been a work in progress. In 821 minutes with Sexton and Garland, the Cavs have an offensive rating of 106.4 and a defensive rating of 115.5, for an overall net rating of -9.1, Fedor notes. However, it’s tough to fully evaluate the effectiveness of the backcourt pairing due to a lack of continuity in the frontcourt, mainly due to injuries, Fedor adds.
  • Jeff Teague will have a much different role with the Bucks than he did in Atlanta with Mike Budenholzer as his head coach, Eric Nehm of The Athletic notes. Milwaukee simply needs him to be a competent backup point guard for 10-15 minutes in postseason games. Teague has agreed to join the Bucks after being waived by the Magic.
  • Lauri Markkanen has been relegated to the second unit with the addition of Nikola Vucevic but the Bulls’ big man doesn’t want to be considered a backup, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago writes. Markkanen will be a restricted free agent this summer, if Chicago extends a qualifying offer in excess of $9MM. “I know I’m a starter in this league but I’m going to play my role,” he said.

Dylan Windler Fractures Hand In Cavs’ Season Opener

Rookie Cavaliers swingman Dylan Windler fractured the fourth metacarpal of his left hand after suffering a fall during the third quarter of Cleveland’s season opener last night, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. An initial postgame X-ray did not reveal any damage, but the fracture was discovered in subsequent tests.

Windler will be re-evaluated in a week, and a timeline projection for his return to game action could be made after that. The Cavaliers would not divulge whether the fracture was displaced or non-displaced, which can impact recovery time.

Fedor notes that the average amount of time missed due to a fourth metacarpal fracture has been about 15 games since the 2005/06 season.

Last season, Raptors forward Norman Powell suffered the same injury last year and missed about a month of action, while then-Celtics forward Gordon Hayward missed 13 games after incurring the same fracture.

Drafted with the No. 26 pick out of Belmont in 2019, Windler missed the entirety of the 2019/20 NBA season after suffering a left lower leg stress reaction at the beginning of the year. In his first nine minutes NBA action before the injury, Windler made one three-pointer and notched two steals. The Cavaliers went on to beat the Hornets in a 121-114 victory last night.