Dylan Windler

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.

Cavaliers Pick Up 2021/22 Options On Four Players

The Cavaliers have picked up the fourth-year option on Collin Sexton, along with the third-year options for Darius Garland, Kevin Porter Jr., and Dylan Windler, the team announced today in a press release.

Sexton, 21, showed improvement in his second NBA season, raising his scoring average from 16.7 to 20.8 PPG and improving his field goal percentage from 43.0% to 47.2%. Sexton’s $6,349,671 salary for the 2021/22 season is now locked in and he will be eligible for a rookie scale extension next offseason. If he doesn’t come to an agreement, he will become a restricted free agent in the summer of 2022.

The 20-year-old Garland was the fifth pick in the 2019 draft. He struggled during his rookie season, shooting just 40.1% from the field, but got better as the year went on. He will make $7,040,880 next season.

Porter, 20, was the 30th pick in 2019 and was acquired in a draft night trade. He averaged 10.2 PPG and 3.2 RPG as a rookie and will earn $1,782,621 in 2021/22.

The 24-year-old Windler missed his entire rookie season due to a stress fracture in his left leg after being taken with the 26th pick in 2019. His 2021/22 salary will be $2,239,200.

We’re watching all the 2021/22 rookie scale team option decisions here.

Central Notes: Rose, Hayes, Osman, Pacers, Wright, Gafford

Derrick Rose is eager to mentor Pistons lottery pick Killian Hayes, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. Rose, who is entering his walk year, plans to make Hayes “uncomfortable” in camp to get the French point guard prepared for the rigors of the NBA. “My job is to push him and to groom him,” Rose said. “Coming from overseas, guys are going to try to play aggressive with him, so it’s my job to play aggressive on him throughout this whole camp so when he gets in a game he won’t feel that much pressure.”

We have more from the Central Division:

  • The Cavaliers’ small forward starting job is up for grabs, as Chris Fedor of The Cleveland Plain Dealer details. Rookie Isaac Okoro, Cedi Osman and Dylan Windler are the candidates, with Osman trying to holding onto the spot he’s occupied over the past two seasons. “Minutes have to be earned,” head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “You’ve got to earn everything here.”
  • The Pacers won’t have fans for their December home games but they’re hoping that changes as early as January, according to a team press release. Pacers Sports & Entertainment’s statement read in part, “We look forward to having fans back to Bankers Life Fieldhouse in January, and we will provide updates in the near future.”
  • Guard Delon Wright wanted to rejoin Dwane Casey for the last two or three years, Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press tweets. Wright was traded last month to the Pistons, where he’ll be coached once again by Casey. Wright played three-and-a-half seasons with Toronto – mostly under Casey – before he was dealt to Memphis in February 2019. Wright thought he might get traded to Detroit before he wound up with the Grizzlies. He played for Dallas last season.
  • Bulls big man Daniel Gafford said he contacted former coach Jim Boylen to “clear the air” after Gafford made some remarks this summer criticizing Boylen’s personality and coaching methods, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. “I had contact with Jim, just made sure I cleared the air that it wasn’t anything intentional, that I was just trying to bash him or anything like that,’’ Gafford said. “It was nothing like that at all. … That was just basically constructive criticism, in my opinion.”

Central Notes: Maker, Cavs, Windler, Bucks

Pistons big man Thon Maker has been working to expand his game, including his long-range shooting stroke, per Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. Detroit can extend Maker a $4.64MM qualifying offer to keep him on the team heading into his fifth season in 2020/21. Langlois anticipates that the Pistons will opt not to do so, however, making Maker an unrestricted free agent — and possibly available for less than his qualifying offer on the open market.

“I’ve always loved Detroit since the first day I got here,” Maker said of his tenure with the Pistons. “I just focus on the basketball and that’s between my agent and the team. My focus is to come here in this [mini-camp] bubble and just play.”

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • The Cavaliers have several prospects they would prefer to interview during the ongoing NBA combine, writes Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor. Virtual interviews commenced last week and wrap up on October 16. Medical exams by the nearest NBA physician and a series of on-court activities completed near the players’ homes are set to take place this month. Fedor reports that Cleveland appears to have a strong interest in talking to top draft candidates LaMelo Ball, Deni Avdija and Isaac Okoro.
  • Cavaliers rookie swingman Dylan Windler, who missed the entire 2019/20 season with a left leg stress fracture, is expected by the team to have a significant on-court role for Cleveland in 2020/21, according to Fedor elsewhere in the same piece. Sources tell Cleveland.com that the 2019 first-rounder is the Cavs’ “most asked-about” player in trade talks, though the team has no interest in moving him.
  • After a disappointing second-round elimination at the hands of the Heat, the Bucks face an interesting offseason, according to The Athletic’s Eric Nehm. Assuming no major cost-cutting trades are made, the team is anticipated to be over the salary cap next season.  GM Jon Horst has a few options he could exercise to creatively make changes around the periphery of the team, including not guaranteeing forward Ersan Ilyasova‘s $7MM salary.

Central Notes: Windler, Donovan, LaVine, Casey

Dylan Windler‘s return to the court has generated a buzz of excitement within the Cavaliers organization, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com writes.

Windler, who underwent season-ending surgery in January for a stress fracture in his left leg, has impressed coaches and teammates alike during the team’s mini-camp. The Cavaliers selected him with the No. 26 in the 2019 draft, with the 24-year-old not playing in a single game this year.

“It was amazing for us to see him out there. I know it felt good for him,” Collin Sexton said. “Everyone went crazy because they know how bad he wanted to be out there.”

In addition to Windler, the Cavaliers sport a young nucleus consisting of Sexton, Darius Garland and Kevin Porter Jr. The team also has a number of veterans – including a star frontcourt duo in Kevin Love and Andre Drummond – and the No. 5 pick in this year’s NBA draft.

“It was like, ‘Yeah, that’s the guy. I remember that guy,’” Cavs general manager Koby Altman said of Windler. “He knows how to play. Super efficient. Can really shoot. He’s always around the ball. He hasn’t been hurt in his entire life, so it’s hard to be off that long. He’s excited to be back, doing his thing and when that silky smooth 3-ball goes in we are doing little fist-bumps too. He still needs to get through this week healthy and his body needs to respond the right way and has to get to NBA games and compete there, but we’re excited about him.”

There’s more from the Central Division tonight:

  • Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic explores what kind of coach Billy Donovan might be for the Bulls. Chicago hired Donovan last week, with the veteran coach coming off a stint with the Thunder. “I look at it as a positive of coaching some different teams,” Donovan said, “because it forces you as a coach to constantly every year have to figure out ways to make the group better. In today’s day and age in the game of basketball, there’s going to be turnover. You want to be able to find a way, however long or short your time is, to make a player better.”
  • Bulls star Zach LaVine hopes Donovan can be a long-term fix at head coach, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune writes. Donovan will be LaVine’s sixth head coach in seven seasons, and the team’s leading scorer hopes that rate of turnover won’t continue. “I was extremely happy,” LaVine said of the Donovan hire. “Somebody with his track record not just in the NBA but in college as well, a whole ton of players who are proven saying how great of a guy he is and how good of a coach he is. People like me, when you want to be great, you want to be coached extremely well. I gave him a text right when I heard the news. And I told him hurry to get after it. I’m extremely excited. I think the whole organization is.”
  • The Pistons have looked to create an atmosphere of intense competition in the team’s mini-camp, head coach Dwane Casey said, as relayed by James Edwards of The Athletic (Twitter link). “The one thing I’ve seen this week … we wanted the competition, and guys are competing hard, taking charges,” Casey said. “We wanted to create the atmosphere of competition. They’ve responded.”

Cavs Apply For Disabled Player Exception For Windler

The Cavaliers have applied for a disabled player exception in response to Dylan Windler‘s season-ending leg injury, sources tell Kelsey Russo of The Athletic (Twitter link). Windler is undergoing surgery to address his nagging lower left leg stress reaction.

As we outline in our glossary entry on the disabled player exception, a team can apply for a DPE to replace a seriously injured player. In order for the exception to be granted, an NBA-designated physician must determine that the player is “substantially more likely than not” to be sidelined through at least June 15 of that league year.

If granted, the disabled player exception allows a club to sign a replacement player for 50% of the injured player’s salary, or for the amount of the non-taxpayer’s mid-level exception, whichever is lesser. In the case of Windler, the exception would be worth just $1.02MM, half of his $2.04MM salary for 2019/20.

The DPE, which doesn’t give a team an extra roster spot, can also be used to acquire a player on an expiring contract via trade or waivers if his salary fits into the exception.

Given how modest the Cavs’ disabled player exception for Windler would be, they’re unlikely to use it even if their request is granted. Still, it doesn’t hurt to apply, since it’s possible the team could find a creative use for it later in the season.

January 15 is the deadline to apply for a disabled player exception, so the Cavs may end up being the last team to apply for one this season. The Wizards, Pelicans, Trail Blazers, Lakers, and Nets all have DPEs available, while the Pistons and Magic have each submitted recent applications.

The deadline to use a DPE is March 10.

Cavs Rookie Dylan Windler Out For Season

Cavaliers swingman Dylan Windler will miss the remainder of the season due to ongoing symptoms related to his left lower leg stress reaction, according to a team press release.

After an extended period of rehabilitation and treatment over the last several months, Windler will now undergo surgery to fix the issue. The procedure is scheduled for January 21.

The 6’6″ Windler was sidelined early in training camp after being diagnosed with the injury, which originally had a 4-6 week timetable. After looking good in practices and scrimmages, he was expected to make his NBA debut last month.

Windler suffered a setback in mid-December and underwent additional treatment and rehabilitation but continued to experience discomfort. He sought a second opinion from Orthopedic Specialist Dr. David Porter of IU Health Methodist Hospital and Sports Medicine in Indianapolis. Ultimately, it was determined that surgery was necessary.

Windler is one of three first-rounders on the Cavs’ roster along with Darius Garland (No. 5) and Kevin Porter (No. 30).

Windler moved up the prospects list during his 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.

The Cavaliers could apply for a disabled player exception as a result of Windler’s injury, but it would be worth just $1.02MM if granted.