Dylan Windler

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/4/19

Here are Wednesday’s G League assignments and recalls from across the NBA:

  • The Bucks assigned power forward Dragan Bender to the Wisconsin Herd, the team’s PR department tweets. The fourth overall pick of the 2016 draft has averaged 21 PPG and 10 RPG in five starts with the Herd.
  • The Knicks assigned rookie forward Ignas Brazdeikis to the Westchester Knicks, the team’s PR department tweets. He’s appeared in six games with the NBA Knicks, averaging 7.0 MPG in those outings.
  • The Cavaliers assigned rookie swingman Dylan Windler to the Canton Charge, the team’s PR department tweets. He has yet to make his NBA debut. The first-rounder is working his way back into basketball shape after recovering from a leg injury.
  • The Pacers recalled Victor Oladipo and Edmond Sumner from the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the team tweets. They practiced with the Mad Ants as part of their injury rehabs. There is no timetable for their return, the team adds.
  • The Clippers assigned center Mfiondu Kabengele to the Agua Caliente Clippers, the team tweets. The rookie first-rounder out of Florida State has appeared in six NBA games, averaging 3.8 MPG in those outings.
  • The Hawks recalled rookie forward Bruno Fernando and guard Tyrone Wallace from the College Park Skyhawks, the team tweets. Fernando, a second-round pick, is averaging 4.5 PPG and 3.0 RPG in 12.7 MPG while playing 21 games with the NBA team. Wallace has averaged 3.1 PPG in 12.0 MPG in 13 games with Atlanta.
  • The Thunder recalled center Justin Patton from the Oklahoma City Blue, according to a team press release. In eight games with the Blue, Patton is averaging 10.3 PPG and  7.5 RPG in 26.2 MPG.
  • The Hornets recalled Cody Martin from the Greensboro Swarm, according to a team press release. The rookie guard appeared in three games with the Swarm, where he averaged 14.0 PPG, 8.0 RPG and 5.3 APG in 34.3 MPG.

Cavaliers Notes: Henson, Love, Windler, Beilein

John Henson hasn’t gotten discouraged by the Cavaliers‘ 5-15 start because he’s been through rebuilding before on a team that is now among the NBA’s best, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Henson was with the Bucks when they won 15 games with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton on the roster, and he is confident the young talent in Cleveland will eventually make a similar turnaround.

“You got to keep pushing forward,” Henson said. “Stay positive, hold onto the rope and don’t flinch as Coach says. “We are going to keep trekking this path. We’re not where we want to be, but the way the East is setting up, especially with sixth, seventh, eighth-seed, playoff wise, three or four-game win streak can put you right back in the mix. So, we can’t stop fighting and give up. It’s too early.”

Henson was back on the court last night after missing 17 games with a hamstring injury. He has been serving as a role model to his young teammates and reminding them that players often don’t get the opportunity they have in their first and second seasons in the league.

There’s more from Cleveland:

  • The Cavs have been slumping because they’ve stopped using Kevin Love as the focal point of their offense, Fedor observes in a separate story. Love reached double figures in scoring in his first 13 games and posted eight double-doubles, but hasn’t seen the ball nearly as much recently. “We really tried to punch it to Kevin and I think he got doubled up a couple times,” coach John Beilein said Tuesday. “People are trying to make other people beat us. They will double him a lot.”
  • Rookie Dylan Windler is taking significant steps toward making his NBA debut, according to Kelsey Russo of The Athletic. Sidelined since the start of training camp by a stress reaction in his left leg, Windler has practiced the past two days and took part in a shootaround. Team doctors are monitoring Windler to see how he responds to each workout. “Today, I was in a coaches’ meeting, I heard the ball bouncing,” Beilein said. “When I heard the ball bouncing, I shot right out there right away because I knew Dylan was in the first group that was shooting just to see how he felt. He had no complications or no future soreness from yesterday’s workout.”
  • Rod Beard of The Detroit News examines how Beilein is adjusting to losing in the NBA after years of success as a college coach.

Cavaliers Notes: Love, Windler, Osman, Nance

Trade speculation has surrounded Kevin Love even before he signed a four-year, $120MM extension last summer. Once a part of the Big Three that led the Cavaliers to four straight Eastern Conference titles, he is now the oldest player on a rebuilding team that won just 19 games last season. Love tells Arash Markazi of The Los Angeles Times that he can accept whatever happens.

“I know there’s talk about me possibly being the missing piece somewhere,” Love said. “There’s been constant chatter since I signed that I could be traded. It’s one of those things where I’m going to keep doing right by the team, by Cleveland and by the organization. If my number is called, so be it, but I’m going to stay true to my commitment and let the chips fall where they may.”

Love is off to his best start since coming to Cleveland five years ago, averaging 18.7 points and 12.6 rebounds through 11 games. He has also emerged as a spokesman for mental health issues in the league after speaking out about his personal battles, and admits he can now handle trade rumors better than he used to.

“A big aspect of mental health is just staying in the present but it’s so hard,” Love said. “You have to try to not get too far ahead of yourself or get worked up. You can get that anxious feeling or fear for the future, but you have to try to stay focused on getting better and let things work out the way they should.”

There’s more from Cleveland:

  • Cavaliers players are excited about what they’ve seen from rookie Dylan Windler in practice, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Windler hasn’t played since the start of training camp because of a stress reaction in his left leg, but he has been impressive in one-on-one and two-on-two games, as well as shooting drills. He has also displayed a basketball IQ that fits well in coach John Beilein’s system and should get plenty of chances to earn a spot in the rotation. Windler might be sent to the G League first, Fedor tweets, so his NBA debut may not happen until December.
  • Cavs management showed its belief in Cedi Osman with a contract extension last month, but there’s still uncertainty about what his ceiling might be, Fedor adds in the same story. Osman remains in the starting lineup, but his usage rating is second lowest on the team.“We’ve got to get him the ball more, we’ve got to see him more, run some more action for him where we can,” Beilein said. “When he’s open, we got to hit him when he’s open. We don’t do that well enough yet.”
  • Larry Nance Jr. was limited in practice because of a sore left thumb, but the team considers it day-to-day, tweets Kelsey Russo of The Athletic. Nance met with a hand specialist yesterday.

Cavaliers Notes: Windler, Veterans, Porter, Beilein

Cavaliers rookie Dylan Windler could be ready for his NBA debut next week, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. The 26th pick in this year’s draft continues to make progress after being sidelined with a stress reaction in his leg. He has been ruled out for the team’s upcoming three-game road trip, which starts Friday, but may be ready for the next home game on November 14.

The Cavs are counting on Windler to add another shooting threat to their lineup, with Jordan Clarkson and Kevin Porter Jr. most likely to lose minutes, Fedor states, noting that Porter still gets lost on defense and slows down the flow of the offense. Cleveland needs a reliable backup for Cedi Osman, and the front office is encouraged by Windler’s performance this summer.

There’s more from Cleveland:

  • Brandon Knight, Tristan ThompsonJohn Henson and Matthew Dellavedova and Clarkson are all veterans on expiring contracts. While the Cavaliers will shop all of them between now and the trade deadline, they will consider long-term deals with whomever who still remains, Fedor adds in the same piece. Management considers all five players to be good for the team culture and accepting of their roles.
  • Porter has expressed regret over the one-game suspension he received for running into an official, Fedor relays in a separate story. It happened during Sunday’s game when Porter bumped into Bill Spooner after not getting a foul call. “He was very contrite, very disappointed in himself,” coach John Beilein said. “I didn’t see the bump (at the time). I just saw him running that way and I turned to talk to the assistants. I didn’t even know about it until (general manager) Koby (Altman) told me.”
  • Celtics coach Brad Stevens marvels at the Cavs’ progress since the teams met twice in the preseason, Fedor writes in another piece. Boston picked up a victory in Cleveland last night, but Stevens believes Beilein has the team headed in the right direction. “I have a lot of respect for him,” Stevens said. “I watched how they’ve even tweaked and changed since we played him in the preseason. He’s just really advanced, he’s very good. Structurally, they’ve changed so much on offense and defense. I feel like they’ve really adjusted too as they’ve gotten back healthy, playing to the strengths of (Kevin) Love, playing to the strengths of Thompson.”

Cavs’ Dylan Windler Out 4-6 Weeks With Leg Injury

The Cavaliers are expected to be without one of their three 2019 first-round picks to start the season. According to a press release issued today by the team, rookie guard Dylan Windler experienced discomfort in his lower leg and was diagnosed with a left tibial stress reaction. He’s expected to return in about four to six weeks after undergoing treatment and rehab.

Windler, who turned 23 last Sunday, was the 26th overall pick in this year’s draft, joining Darius Garland (No. 5) and Kevin Porter (No. 30) in the Cavs’ rookie class. He’s coming off an impressive senior season at Belmont, in which he averaged 21.3 PPG and 10.8 RPG with a .540/.429/.847 shooting line in 33 games.

A source tells Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com that the Cavs are “not overly concerned” about the injury and that it just needs some time to heal. It doesn’t sound like an issue that should linger and derail Windler’s rookie season.

With Windler out, the Cavs find themselves somewhat thin at small forward behind Cedi Osman. As Fedor notes, the injury may create an opportunity for Porter to play regular minutes at the three in the preseason and at the start of the regular season.

Central Notes: Rose, Hutchison, Bledsoe, Love

Derrick Rose signed with the Pistons this summer in pursuit a championship, he said in a Sirius XM NBA Radio interview (Twitter link). Rose, who inked a two-year, $15MM contract, feels the Pistons can contend in the Eastern Conference behind the big man duo of Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond. “While I’m in the game, I want to win a championship,” he said. “That’s what I really want to do. I’ve got all the accolades I wanted.  Now it’s time for me to get the one I really, really want. I’ve won at every level except for this level.”

We have more from around the Central Division:

  • Bulls swingman Chandler Hutchison suffered a left hamstring strain while working out this week, according to a post on the team’s website. While the injury doesn’t appear serious, it’s a reminder of the team’s lack of depth along the wings, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune tweets. Hutchison is slated as a backup to Otto Porter at small forward while Antonio Blakeney and Denzel Valentine, who was injured all of last season, are the top options behind shooting guard Zach LaVine.
  • Trade restrictions on Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe lifted this week, as ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets. Bledsoe couldn’t be dealt for six months after he signed a four-year, $70M extension on March 4. However, there are no indications Milwaukee, one of the favorites to win the championship, is looking to move Bledsoe.
  • Kevin Love is organizing a minicamp for his Cavaliers teammates in New York next week, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com reports. Cedi Osman and Matthew Dellavedova won’t be able to make it, since they are participating in the FIBA World Cup. Most of the other team members are expected to show up, including first-round picks Darius Garland, Kevin Porter Jr. and Dylan Windler.

Cavaliers Sign Darius Garland, Dylan Windler

Both of Cleveland’s first-round picks have signed their rookie contracts, according to the NBA’s transactions log. The Cavaliers inked Vanderbilt guard Darius Garland, who was taken with the fifth pick, and Belmont forward Dylan Windler, who was selected at No. 26.

Garland was considered one of the nation’s top point guards, even though an injury limited him to five games in college. The freshman averaged 16.2 points and 2.6 assists in limited play, but displayed an impressive shooting range that should make him a valuable weapon in the NBA.

Windler spent four years at Belmont and became one of the top players in the Ohio Valley Conference. He averaged 21.6 points, 10.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game as a senior and helped the Bruins reach the NCAA Tournament.

Under the rookie scale, Garland can receive $6.4MM in his first year and $6.72MM and $7.04MM in the next two seasons. Windler is slotted at $2.035MM for 2019/20 and $2.137MM and $2.239 for the subsequent two years.

Draft Updates: Bol, Claxton, Norvell, Green Room

As expected, Oregon center Bol Bol held a Pro Day on Wednesday in Los Angeles, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, who tweets that about a dozen NBA teams attended the event, including five general managers. Bol, who is viewed as one of the draft’s biggest high-risk, high-reward prospects, is coming back from surgery on his left foot and wanted to use the Pro Day to ease concerns about his health, says Givony.

Givony adds that Bol showed on Wednesday why he’s considered a top-five prospect in terms of talent, and Sam Vecenie of The Athletic (Twitter link) also hears from teams that the young big man looked good. However, Vecenie points out that the questions about Bol weren’t going to get answered in a non-contact open gym setting. He remains one of the draft’s most intriguing wild cards.

Here are a few more draft-related updates:

  • Georgia big man Nicolas Claxton has canceled and shut down all of his workouts for non-lottery teams, a source tells Vecenie (Twitter link). Claxton, who ranks 29th on ESPN’s big board, feels good about where he’ll be picked based on the feedback he’s received so far, per Vecenie.
  • Gonzaga guard Zach Norvell Jr., the 63rd prospect on ESPN’s big board, said today he’s been told he’s projected to be drafted in the 20-40 range, tweets Rod Beard of The Detroit News. Norvell also said that he’s had 15 workouts during the pre-draft process (Twitter link).
  • Two more draft prospects have been invited to the Green Room for next Thursday’s event, according to reports. Jonathan Givony of ESPN.com tweets that Georgian center Goga Bitadze has received an invite, while Evan Daniels of 247Sports.com adds Keldon Johnson (Kentucky) to the list (Twitter link). Sixteen other Green Room invitees were previously reported.
  • In addition to his previously-reported workouts, Cameron Johnson (UNC) has auditioned for the Timberwolves, Celtics, Thunder, Sixers, and Warriors, tweets Gery Woelfel of Woelfel’s Press Box.
  • ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, Mike Schmitz, and Kevin Pelton (Insider link) named several of their favorite draft sleepers, singling out Grant Williams (Tennessee), Dylan Windler (Belmont), and Zylan Cheatham (Arizona State), among others.

Northwest Notes: Donovan, Blazers, Jazz, Franklin

Billy Donovan‘s contract runs out after next season but he’s not sweating over his tenuous status with the Thunder, Erik Horne of The Oklahoman writes. Donovan has no real desire to return to the college ranks and will likely retire or become an NBA assistant if he loses his job with Oklahoma City, Horne continues. It’s possible the Thunder will give Donovan an extension during the season but he’s not lobbying for any assurances, Horne adds. The Thunder have lost three assistants — Mark Bryant, Darko Rajakovic and Bob Beyer — due to the lack of job security in OKC.

We have more from around the Northwest Division:

  • The Trail Blazers took a look at six guard and wing prospects in their latest pre-draft workout on Monday, according to a team press release. Boston College’s Ky Bowman, Brewster Academy’s Jalen Lecque, Clemson’s Shelton Mitchell, Nebraska’s James Palmer Jr., Oregon State’s Stephen Thompson and Belmont’s Dylan Windler were the participants. Lecque is ranked No. 48 overall by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.
  • The Jazz, who hold the No. 23 overall pick in the first round, have a better idea of which players will be available at that spot, Eric Woodyard of The Deseret News reports.  “I think we do have a better idea of 5-10 guys, I don’t have an exact number right now, but I think we’ve narrowed it down,” VP of player personnel Walt Perrin said. “We were in the theater the other day looking at players and talking about whether or not they should still be in the 23, as we call it, bucket. So, it’s again, 12 days and we’ll know better in another week, but I think the process is starting to narrow itself.”
  • Former NBA guard Jamaal Franklin participated in a free agent mini-camp with the Trail Blazers, according to Sportando’s Nicola Lupo. Franklin averaging 32.3 points, 9.9 rebounds, eight assists, and 2.4 steals this past season with the Sichuan Blue Whales in China. He last played in the league during the 2014-15 season with Denver. Franklin also recently participated in a Kings mini-camp.

Atlantic Notes: Udoka, Knicks, Celtics

As we relayed earlier this week, new Sixers coach Ime Udoka is replacing Monty Williams as lead assistant coach under head man Brett Brown. Unlike Williams, however, Idoka will also be tasked with being the team’s new defensive coordinator next season, writes Rich Hofmann of The Athletic.

Udoka has interviewed unsuccessfully for some head coaching positions over the last couple offseasons in Cleveland, Toronto, Detroit, Charlotte and Orlando, but this new position for the Sixers will still be a promotion for him, as Ettore Messina is the lead assistant in San Antonio.

Getting the opportunity to be a lead assistant may very well increase Udoka’s chances of landing a head coaching role in the near future, especially considering the success that Brown’s other assistants for the Sixers like Lloyd Pierce (Hawks) and Williams (Suns) have had when they had the opportunity to interview for top jobs.

In the meantime, Udoka will oversee a defense that largely underperformed during the 2018/19 season given the talent on the Sixers’ roster.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division this afternoon: