Dylan Windler’s first NBA season with the Cleveland Cavaliers never happened because of injuries, but had he stayed healthy, it appears he could have taken Cedi Osman’s spot in the starting lineup.
Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com answered questions from fans and responded to a query about the Cavaliers’ small forward situation. He indicated that Windler’s all-around skills had created excitement within the organization.
“Had Dylan Windler been healthy this season, it wouldn’t have been a surprise to see him bump Osman from the starting spot, with the Cavs needing Windler’s passing, long-range shooting and basketball IQ. That was the feel inside the organization going into the 2019-20 season,” Fedor wrote. “Each time Windler seemed close to his NBA debut, excitement stirred — from teammates, executives and coaches.”
Instead, Windler arrived at training camp with an ailing lower left leg that was diagnosed as a stress reaction.
Osman was inconsistent for most of the year, with his shooting touch wavering and his defense lacking at times. The belief is that he would be more effective off the bench.
When the Cavaliers selected Windler with the 26th overall pick last year, his long-range shooting was seen as one of his biggest assets.
However, Windler was able to show in the buildup to training camp that he had much more potential in different aspects of the game. One concern about his play next season is the uncertainty that stems from missing out on the further development of his game.
The Cavaliers are still rebuilding the franchise, with Windler expected to be one of the key building blocks. With the addition of another high first-round pick this year, the Cavaliers can continue their growth and hope that a Windler comeback will help point the team toward playoff contention.