Dylan Windler

Southeast Notes: Mills, Spoelstra, Gueye, Bufkin, Windler, Wagners

Patty Mills only appeared in 32 games with the Hawks and Heat this season but the 35-year-old guard isn’t ready to retire. Mills will head into free agency looking for a new deal, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

“I take really good care of myself and my body and the plan is to continue to play until the wheels fall off is how I see it,” he said. Mills, who added he’d prefer to stay with the Heat, will play for Australia in the Paris Olympics.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Heat‘s early postseason exit has allowed coach Erik Spoelstra to spend more time evaluating draft prospects, though he’s offering opinions rather than getting too involved in the process. “I figured I had three days to get up to speed on the draft last year,” he told Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald. “The eight weeks leading up to [this year’s draft], I think I’ll just be probably overconfused by overanalysis. I’ll stay out of the way. Now that I have more time, I’m probably dangerous. I’ll stay out of the way of our scouting department. They do an exceptional job — Adam Simon and his staff — preparing for that draft.”
  • Mouhamed Gueye, Kobe Bufkin and Dylan Windler are expected to play on the Hawks’ Summer League squad next month, Brad Rowland of the LockedOnHawks podcast tweets. General manager Landry Fields made that revelation during his press conference on Monday. Gueye and Bufkin were on Atlanta’s 15-man roster to finish the season, while Windler was a two-way player.
  • Germany won the FIBA World Cup last summer, defeating Team USA along the way. The Magic‘s Franz Wagner and Moritz Wagner will now try to lead their home country to a gold medal at the Olympics. “It’s a dream come true for me as a player,” Franz told Jason Beede of the Orlando Sentinel. The Magic hold an $8MM option on Moritz’s contract for next season, so he could wind up as a free agent next month.

Southeast Notes: Clifford, Windler, Houstan, Bagley, Vukcevic

Steve Clifford has seen a lot of losing since returning to the Hornets‘ sidelines last season, but Saturday’s blowout in Atlanta stood out because of a lack of competitiveness from his team, writes Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer. Charlotte dropped its fourth straight game in the midst of a 17-53 season, and Clifford was upset that his players didn’t fight back after falling behind early.

“As soon as we started subbing, our intensity went downhill and we never really got it back,” he said. “That was just as poor an effort, and just for a team that’s tried all year, we didn’t try very hard. We’re not going to be able to do that. I thought Miles (Bridges) was really good. And in terms of effort, it ended there.”

When Clifford became the Hornets’ coach last season, he inherited a team that was already off to a rough start in its rebuilding process. None of its draft picks from 2021 panned out — including first-rounders Kai Jones and James Bouknight — which creates a difficult situation for a franchise that’s not in position to attract top free agent talent.

“I remember we used to say all the time, ‘It gets late early in the NBA,’” Clifford said. “You bring a guy in who had been in college four years and he doesn’t play well in his first year, those guys would be gone. But you’re crazy to do that now because the guys are so young. Everything used to be, you drafted in performance. Now, you’re drafting by potential and it’s much, much harder. Younger players are not as ready to play, and it makes it harder on coaches, but it makes it much, much harder on management.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Injuries have forced the Hawks to go deep into their bench, notes Lauren Williams of The Journal-Constitution. That included 19 minutes Saturday night for Dylan Windler, who made his home debut after signing a two-way contract earlier this month. “I felt pretty comfortable for the most part,” Windler said. “Obviously, I haven’t had any live extended minutes like that in a while. So, it just feels good to get up and down for a little bit, try to get my legs back. But for the most part it felt comfortable. Just trying to add a little bit of energy to us, add a spark, crash the boards hard and make shots for us.”
  • Caleb Houstan made a rare start for the Magic on Saturday with Gary Harris unavailable due to a right plantar fascia strain, per Jason Beede of The Orlando Sentinel. However, the second-year small forward experienced soreness in his left ankle and didn’t play in the second half. Coach Jamahl Mosley said Houstan will be evaluated today.
  • Wizards big man Marvin Bagley III returned Saturday after missing nearly three weeks with lower back spasms, according to Stephen Whyno of The Associated Press. Tristan Vukcevic, who signed with Washington 11 days ago, played three minutes in his NBA debut. “It was amazing, a dream come true,” Vukcevic told Chase Hughes of Monumental Sports Network (video link).

Southeast Notes: Bey, Windler, Wizards, Mosley

Hawks forward Saddiq Bey is no stranger to hard work, transforming himself into a more physical player who’s averaging a career-high 6.5 rebounds per game and is driving to the basket more often, writes Lauren Williams of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (subscriber link).

Williams dives into Bey’s regimen and work with trainer Myron Flowers. Bey, who will be a restricted free agent this offseason if he’s extended a qualifying offer, has played a variety of roles for the Hawks.

Bey is averaging 13.9 points and 6.5 rebounds per contest this season. He’s in the final year of his rookie contract, making $4.6MM this season, and recently met the “starter criteria” for potential restricted free agents, so if he’s extended a qualifying offer, it will be worth $8.5MM.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Hawks signed Dylan Windler to a two-way contract on Monday, and he’s already seeing how he can mesh with the team, Williams writes in a separate story. “I mean, even just from the little bits I’ve seen and playing against the Hawks from time to time, seeing Coach Quin’s system, I think it’s a system that I fit right into it,” Windler said. “A lot of threes up, run, good spacing, crash the offensive glass, prioritize next possessions. And so I think it’s a system I good fit really well into.
  • The Wizards fell to Orlando on Wednesday, blowing a 21-point lead en route to a franchise record-tying 16th consecutive loss, The Washington Post’s Ava Wallace observes. “Yeah, we addressed [the streak],” point guard Tyus Jones said. “But six games, 16 games, you don’t want to lose many in a row, ever. Regardless of how many it is. At this point … we’ve got to be more desperate. We’ve got to want it more. We don’t want it enough right now. We’ve got to come out and by any means get a win, and that’s not the attitude we have right now.
  • The Magic, conversely, won their fifth straight game by beating Washington and are in fourth in the Eastern Conference. Josh Robbins of The Athletic explores the job Jamahl Mosley has done in Orlando this season, writing that he should at least be in the conversation for Coach of the Year. Paolo Banchero, Jalen Suggs, Cole Anthony and Moritz Wagner are key contributors who praise Mosley’s ability. “He has some fire to him,” Wagner said. “Obviously, you need to have that. I think we all trust him. I think he trusts us to respond. He cares a lot. As players, we feel that when your coach cares about you. So, you take to heart what he says.

Contract Details: Lawson, K. Brown, Forrest, Barlow, Bouyea, More

The Mavericks used a portion of their non-taxpayer mid-level exception to give A.J. Lawson a $1MM rest-of-season salary and a four-year contract when they promoted him to their standard roster, Hoops Rumors has learned.

While Lawson’s 2023/24 salary of $1MM – which is well above his prorated minimum – is guaranteed, he’s not necessarily assured of any money beyond this season. His minimum salaries for the following three years are fully non-guaranteed. If he plays out the full contract, the Mavericks wing would earn approximately $7.91MM.

Here are more details on recently signed contracts around the NBA:

  • The three-year contract that Kendall Brown signed with the Pacers features a starting salary of $1.1MM, which came out of the team’s room exception. This season is the first year that the room exception can be used to sign players for up to three years instead of just two, and Indiana took advantage of that flexibility to give Brown non-guaranteed minimum salaries in 2024/25 and ’25/26, with a team option on that final year. He’ll receive a partial guarantee of $250K if he makes the Pacers’ regular season roster in the fall.
  • The new contracts for Hawks guard Trent Forrest and Spurs forward Dominick Barlow are just rest-of-season, minimum-salary deals, which suggests that those two players just got standard conversions from their two-way contracts rather than negotiating new terms. Forrest will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, while Barlow will be eligible for restricted free agency.
  • As expected, both Shake Milton (Knicks) and Mike Muscala (Thunder) signed rest-of-season, minimum-salary contracts with their new clubs.
  • Like fellow San Antonio newcomer RaiQuan Gray, Jamaree Bouyea signed a two-year, two-way deal with the Spurs, so his new contract runs through the 2024/25 season.
  • The two-way deals recently signed by Jeff Dowtin (Sixers), Jacob Gilyard (Nets), Jacob Toppin (Knicks), Ish Wainright (Suns), Quenton Jackson (Pacers), Harry Giles (Lakers), and Dylan Windler (Hawks) are all one-year (rest-of-season) contracts, so those players will be eligible to become restricted free agents this summer.

Dylan Windler Signs Two-Way Deal With Hawks

6:00pm: The deal is now official, according to a release from the team.

5:48pm: Free agent guard/forward Dylan Windler is signing a two-way contract with the Hawks, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). The Hawks had an open two-way slot after converting Trent Forrest to a standard deal, so no corresponding move is required.

Windler spent most of the year on a two-way deal with the Lakers before he was waived over the weekend to make room for Harry Giles. He began the year on a two-way contract with the Knicks.

In 11 games this year between the Knicks and Lakers, Windler has averaged 1.3 points. He has been much more productive in the G League, averaging 13.3 points and 8.2 rebounds in 16 games. He turned heads earlier this season by recording a G League single-game record 33 rebounds on Jan. 5.

He’s eligible to be active in 12 of Atlanta’s 22 remaining games this season.

Windler, 27, was the 26th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. He spent the first three years of his career with the Cavaliers, averaging 3.3 points and 2.3 rebounds in 84 games with the Cavs. Even though two-way players are limited to three or fewer years of service, Windler is eligible for a two-way contract due to the new “Harry Giles rule,” which allows players with four years of service to sign two-way deals if they missed a full season due to injury.

Because of the terms of the rule, Windler is only eligible to sign a one-year two-way deal, which means he’ll be eligible for restricted free agency this offseason. He’ll have the rest of the season to make an impression on the organization and compete for a spot on the standard roster for next season.

Lakers Sign Harry Giles To Two-Way Contract

MARCH 2: The Lakers announced that they’ve signed Giles and waived Windler (Twitter link).

MARCH 1, 8:30pm: A team source tells ESPN’s Dave McMenamin that Windler will be released to make room for Giles, who will join the Lakers on Monday (Twitter link).

MARCH 1, 7:17pm: Free agent big man Harry Giles is signing a two-way contract with the Lakers, agent Daniel Hazan tells Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium (Twitter link).

As Charania observes, the Lakers are a little thin in the frontcourt due to injuries to Christian Wood (knee swelling) and two-way center Colin Castleton (right wrist fracture). Castleton hasn’t been in the rotation as a rookie this season, but it’s possible he may have gotten a chance with Wood out.

L.A. currently has Castleton, Skylar Mays and Dylan Windler on two-way deals. One of them will have to be waived in order to make room on the roster for Giles.

A former first-round pick, Giles returned to the NBA in 2023/24 after missing two full seasons due to knee injuries. He signed a non-guaranteed, minimum-salary contract with the Nets, earning a spot on the team’s regular season roster and then having his full salary guaranteed when he remained on the roster through January 7.

Giles played sparingly in Brooklyn, appearing in 16 games and averaging just 5.1 minutes per night. He posted 3.4 points and 1.6 rebounds per game in his limited role.

The 25-year-old forward/center was a roster casualty last month, with the Nets waiving him to complete a trade before the deadline.

As our glossary entry on two-way contracts shows, in the 2023 CBA, the league and the players’ union agreed to implement what is informally known as the “Harry Giles rule.” Prior to signing with Brooklyn, Giles had been on an NBA roster for four seasons, but missed the entirety of his 2017/18 rookie year due to an injury, so he had only actually played in an NBA regular season game in three separate seasons.

The new rule allows Giles – and any other player who has four years of NBA service but missed one or more of those seasons due to an injury – to sign a two-way contract. That’s how Windler was able to sign two-way deals with the Knicks and Lakers as well.

Lakers Sign Dylan Windler To Two-Way Contract

JANUARY 7: Windler officially signed his two-way contract on Saturday, according to NBA.com’s transaction log.

JANUARY 6: Veteran wing Dylan Windler, who had been playing in the G League, has agreed to sign a two-way contract with the Lakers, agents Mark Bartelstein and Andy Shiffman tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

A first-round pick in 2019, Windler signed a two-way contract with the Knicks in July following four seasons in Cleveland, then was converted to a standard non-guaranteed contract prior to the start of the regular season. He appeared in three games for the Knicks before being waived last month, before his 2023/24 salary became fully guaranteed.

Windler continued to play for the Westchester Knicks, New York’s G League affiliate, after being waived by the NBA team. He’s coming off a monster performance on Friday vs. the Delaware Blue Coats, as he put up 23 points to go along with a NBAGL-record 33 rebounds (11 offensive) in a loss.

For the season, he has averaged 13.8 PPG and 8.8 RPG on .443/.360/.714 shooting in 13 appearances for Westchester.

Players with four years of NBA service are typically ineligible for two-way contracts. However, Windler qualifies under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement due to a rule tweak that allows players who missed one of their four seasons as a result of an injury to retain their two-way eligibility — the former Belmont standout didn’t play at all as a rookie in 2019/20 due to a leg injury.

Assuming he officially signs his contract today, Windler will be eligible to appear in up to 29 games and will earn $321,714 on his two-way deal with the Lakers.

Los Angeles, meanwhile, has to waive one of its current two-way players to open up a spot for Windler. Colin Castleton, D’Moi Hodge, and Alex Fudge currently occupy those slots, and the Lakers intend to waive Fudge, reports Dave McMenamin of ESPN (Twitter link). He logged just 14 total minutes in four NBA appearances as a rookie out of Florida this season.

Knicks Waive Dylan Windler, Sign Taj Gibson

DECEMBER 15: The Knicks have officially signed Gibson, the team announced today in a press release (Twitter link). He’ll earn a salary of $2,241,188, while the team carries a cap hit of $1,416,116.

DECEMBER 13: The Knicks are making a change at the back of their standard 15-man roster, announcing today that they’ve waived wing Dylan Windler (Twitter link). Using their newly opened roster spot, the team will sign free agent big man Taj Gibson to a one-year contract, agent Mark Bartelstein tells Ian Begley of SNY.tv (Twitter link).

Gibson’s one-year deal with New York will be non-guaranteed, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Gibson is a longtime favorite of Tom Thibodeau, who has coached the veteran forward/center in Chicago, Minnesota, and New York. Gibson previously had a stint with the Knicks that lasted from 2019-22 — he appeared in 159 games over the course of three seasons.

Gibson spent last the 2022/23 season with the Wizards and re-signed with Washington on a one-year, minimum-salary contract during the 2023 offseason. However, even though his deal was fully guaranteed, the 38-year-old became the victim of a roster crunch in D.C. and was cut before the season began.

With starting center Mitchell Robinson expected to miss at least eight-to-10 weeks due to an ankle injury, New York was in the market for additional frontcourt depth and Gibson was an obvious candidate to fill that role, given his familiarity with Thibodeau and the Knicks, who highly value his leadership, according to Begley.

Gibson’s playing time has been on the decline in recent years and he’ll turn 39 in June, so he’s unlikely to leapfrog Isaiah Hartenstein or Jericho Sims on New York’s depth chart, but he’ll be a useful piece of insurance at center.

Since the Knicks had a full 15-man roster, they had to waive someone to make room for Gibson. None of their three players on non-guaranteed salaries – Windler, DaQuan Jeffries, and Ryan Arcidiacono – had seen much action this fall, but it was Windler who was ultimately the odd man out. The former first-round pick has logged just seven total minutes across three appearances for the Knicks this season.

For what it’s worth, Windler is still eligible for a two-way contract, whereas Jeffries and Aricidacono aren’t, so if he clears waivers, the former Belmont sharpshooter could return in that capacity. It would require another cut though, since New York doesn’t have an open two-way slot.

If he goes unclaimed on waivers, Windler will end up making $659,454, a prorated portion of his minimum-salary deal with the Knicks.

Knicks Notes: B. Brown, Tournament, Mitchell, Centers

Bruce Brown was a long shot for the Knicks in free agency, but he still met with them before deciding to sign with the Pacers. The versatile swingman talked to Stefan Bondy of The New York Post about the details of that meeting, which took place on FaceTime.

Head coach Tom Thibodeau was a strong supporter of adding Brown and told him the Knicks needed him to “do the little things to help them win.” Thibodeau made his recruiting pitch along with team president Leon Rose, but they couldn’t compete with Indiana’s offer. Brown signed for $45MM over two years, while New York was limited to $12.4MM per year with its mid-level exception.

“Thibs has always been a fan of mine, even coming out the draft when he was with Minnesota,” Brown said. “And every time I played against him we had a few communications. But this is the first time to actually get a chance to get me.”

There’s more from New York:

  • With the Knicks beginning play Friday in the NBA’s new in-season tournament, Bondy reached out to two of the team’s lower-salaried players to see what the $500K grand prize would mean to them. Ryan Arcidiacono and Dylan Windler, who both have non-guaranteed contracts, said they would use the bonus money to help pay off their mortgages.
  • The Knicks might be a more entertaining team if they had met Utah’s price in trade negotiations for Donovan Mitchell, but there’s no guarantee they would be better, contends Mike Vaccaro of The New York Post. Vaccaro points to the team’s last offer for Mitchell, which would have included RJ Barrett, Obi Toppin, Evan Fournier, two unprotected first-round picks and three more first-rounders. It might have also precluded the trade for Josh Hart and the signing of Donte DiVincenzo. Vaccaro notes that New York still has most of those assets, which can be used for the next big-name player who becomes available.
  • There has been plenty of speculation that the Knicks might be waiting for Joel Embiid or Karl-Anthony Towns to hit the trade market, but Thibodeau is happy with his current center pairing of Mitchell Robinson and Isaiah Hartenstein, per Kristian Winfield of The New York Daily News. “(Isaiah) and Mitch together, it’s a great tandem,” Thibodeau told reporters before Wednesday’s game. “They complement each other extremely well, they support each other, they’re great teammates. You throw Jericho (Sims) in there as well, that position, we feel pretty good about it.”

Knicks Convert Dylan Windler To Standard Contract

The Knicks have converted Dylan Windler from a two-way deal to a standard contract, according to NBA.com’s transaction log. The contract covers one season and is non-guaranteed, tweets Fred Katz of The Athletic. It’ll be worth the minimum salary.

The Cavaliers selected Windler with the 26th pick in the 2019 draft, but he missed his first season with a leg injury and was never able to carve out a consistent role, averaging 3.3 points, 2.3 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 84 games. He dealt with injuries through much of that time and appeared in just three games last season.

Cleveland opted not to give Windler a qualifying offer this summer, making him an unrestricted free agent. The 27-year-old small forward signed with New York in July after spending his first four NBA seasons with the Cavaliers.

Windler will get a chance to revive his career in New York after earning a roster spot. He appeared in just one preseason game, going scoreless in about six minutes of action.

The Knicks now have 15 players on standard contracts, including DaQuan Jeffries and Ryan Arcidiacono, whose deals are also non-guaranteed. The team also has a two-way opening after converting Charlie Brown and Jacob Toppin to two-way contracts earlier today.