Report: Cavs organization issues strong challenge to Dylan Windler to prove he belongs in NBA

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Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The short NBA career of Cleveland Cavaliers wing Dylan Windler began with plenty of promise, but he and the team could part ways after this season if he’s not able to stay healthy.

Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com looked at how Windler is again coming off an injury-plagued season, with some in the Cavs organization still unsure if he can make it in the NBA.

“Have no idea if he can play,” a source said. “We haven’t seen anything from him yet. Kid’s got to be available first. Bottom line.”

“At some point he’s got to produce,” added one Cavs coach. “He needs to stay healthy and become a consistent 3-point threat. If he can do those two things then I think he has a chance.”

Windler was the 26th overall pick of the 2019 NBA Draft and came to his first training camp as a potential threat from beyond the arc.

However, injuries ended up keeping Windler off the court during the entire chaotic 2019-20 season that included the NBA temporarily shutting down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last year, he suffered an injury during the first week of the regular season and then injured his knee, which required season-ending surgery. In his 31 games, he averaged just 5.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game.

The Cavaliers certainly need stronger contribution from Windler if they have any hope of getting out of the rut that’s seen them play three consecutive seasons of miserable basketball.

Windler has no doubt faced pressure situations during his basketball career, but the upcoming campaign offers a new version of pressure for him.

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Brad Sullivan is a lead writer for Cavaliers Nation. He has spent much of life in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and has remained a Cavalier fan from their 1970 beginnings through the return of LeBron James. While that fandom was sorely tested during the Reign of Error known simply by one word, Stepien, that overall historical perspective will be part of his writing for Cavaliers Nation in the months ahead.