It was announced that the rookie will not play this year after suffering reaction in training camp, and will have surgery to correct the issue.
Dylan Windler was one of three highly touted rookies the Cleveland Cavs took in the 2019 NBA Draft. Paired with fellow guards Darius Garland and Kevin Porter Jr., the trio were expected to provide instant offense around star forward Kevin Love and second-year guard Collin Sexton. Windler though suffered a stress reaction to his lower left leg in the preseason and was shut down so he could heal, hoping to prevent a stress fracture. After participating in a 3-on-3 practice at the Cleveland Clinic Courts, Windler again experienced soreness in his lower left leg. Doctors determined that Windler will need surgery to repair the injury.
After being activated again, Windler spent two games with the Canton Charge, where shot 44% from the floor and a less-than-stellar 28% from three in about 18.5 minutes of play. The injury would again flare up, causing him to again be shut down to heal.
The hope was that all three of the rookies would be able to share the floor with one another during their first year, with Garland running point, Porter playing off-ball and Windler settling in as the sharpshooter. With the injury to Windler, the team will have to wait months to see what the three can be together.
It’s likely that by the time Windler sees the court the team he returns to could be vastly different. With Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson on the trading block, Windler could be thrust into a larger role as a rookie for the 2020-2021 season.
Until then, it’s hard to not admit that Windler’s injury is devastating. The hope and hype around him was comparable to what we saw with Tyler Herro, another rookie three-point shooting guard/forward. Perhaps that hype was only for Cleveland fans, but it certainly felt like Windler and Porter were hotly anticipated. Maybe even more so than Garland. The three could still be the future of the franchise assuming Windler recovers all the way from the injury, but now it’s a waiting game to see when and even if he can return to the team.