The Cleveland Cavaliers have said goodbye to Dylan Windler.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have officially ruled Dylan Windler an unrestricted free agent this offseason, despite the team being able to issue a qualifying offer to him, which would’ve made him an unrestricted free agent. Considering he came in the same draft class as Kevin Porter Jr. and Darius Garland, there were high hopes for Windler. But for Cavs president Koby Altman, the man who drafted Windler, not to want to extend an offer that would’ve or could’ve kept him in town, is a telling sign of how they view him.
But how did things go so wrong? He was taken ahead of Jordan Poole, Nic Claxton, and the Martin twins (and a lot of others, shockingly enough). He should be a key piece of this team going forward, but the team couldn’t even trade him for draft capital or an expiring contract.
But why? What happened to make this former first-rounder not worth a second contract in Cleveland?
Three reasons why Dylan Windler fell out of favor with the Cleveland Cavaliers
Sadly, Windler missed the entirety of his first season due to injuries. That was a pivotal year, as it was one of the last two years where there were no expectations. He could’ve played significant minutes and maybe captured the attention of some key figures in the organization, but that didn’t end up happening.
When Windler was traded for, he came in with John Beilein as his head coach, and with an apparent role on the team. Then Beilein was fired after he lost the locker room and J.B. Bickerstaff was installed instead. Bickerstaff had a different offensive and defensive scheme in mind, and due to that, started to build it around the players he saw more regularly. Windler, like others no longer on the team, couldn’t find consistent minutes for one reason or another.
No longer in the timeline
Windler at 26 was already pretty “old” for a development player, but the original idea was that Windler would find reps and minutes on a team full of young guys. When the Cavs exceeded expectations in 2021-2022, Windler was on borrowed time. There was no longer a timetable for him to develop. The team was in a win-now mode. And while he never did put up big numbers with the Cavs, with the G-League Charge, he averaged 13 points across three seasons, while shooting 49.3% from the floor and 39.2% from three. Windler can help a team win, it’s a shame the Cavs aren’t going to be one of them.
- Published on 07/03/2023 at 21:30 PM
- Last updated at 07/03/2023 at 21:30 PM