The Trail Blazers’ memorable postseason run might be over, but the the 2019 NBA Draft is right around the corner. Portland’s President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey currently has the No. 25 pick in the draft at his disposal and he will look to supplement the Blazers’ roster with a talented prospect in the latter stages of the first round. Regardless of Portland’s lack of a pick in the second round, Olshey has shown a willingness to negotiate his way back into the selection process. Today we look at Belmont Bruins shooting guard Dylan Windler.
- Height: 6’7.5”
- Weight: 196
- Wingspan: 6’10”
- Shooting Hand: Left
- Position: SG/SF
- Age: 22
- Projected draft range: 31-40
- PTS: 21.3 | Per 40: 25.6
- REB: 10.8 | Per 40: 13.0
- AST: 2.5 | Per 40: 3.1
- FG%: 54.0
- 3P%: 42.9
- FT%: 84.7
Armed with one of the best three-point shots in the country, Windler’s foundation starts with his perimeter offense. The Indiana native utilizes his length and high release point to effortlessly convert perimeter attempts from NBA-distance. Windler deftly maneuvers around screens to generate space and he possesses an underrated step-back jumper. Inside the arc, he uses his instincts and court vision to create opportunities for himself and others. Windler does a superb job of exploiting lackadaisical opponents with perfectly-timed cuts to the paint. When finishing drives, he has shown he can finish both above and below the rim.
Outside of scoring, Windler recorded stellar rebounding numbers thanks to his natural instincts. He routinely positions himself to corral misses before the ball leaves the rim.
Outside of his stellar three-point shooting, Windler’s upside is dissected quickly. He will be 23 years old before he hits the court for the first time, which calls into question how much more room he has for growth. Windler has excellent size for a shooting guard, but lacks the quickness to contain speedy NBA guards. If he slides to small forward, he will need to add bulk to his frame without sacrificing mobility.
Like Murray State guard Ja Morant, Windler will face a noteworthy jump in competition outside of the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC).
Windler’s exploits on offense placed him near the top of every statistical category in the OVC last season. Led by his stellar outside shooting, he crossed the 30-point threshold on nine occasions—including a 41-point outburst against Morehead State. Windler converted Belmont’s trip to the NCAA Tournament into a 35-point showing in an opening round loss to Maryland. At the conclusion of the year, he earned a place on the All-OVC First Team for the second season in a row.
Teams selecting in the latter stages of the draft will have a tough time passing on Windler. His elite outside shooting gives him a marketable NBA skill that should hold up immediately. Buoyed by his offense, Windler’s defensive deficiencies are easily overlooked when slotting him into a reserve role. Contending teams looking for floor spacing at a controlled cost are likely to monitor where Windler slides to on draft night.
The Blazers could find themselves in desperate need of perimeter offense if both Rodney Hood and Seth Curry depart this summer. Windler is far from a perfect solution, but his shooting and experience could help him fight for reserve minutes inside coach Terry Stotts’ rotations. Olshey has a history of investing in players that resemble Windler. Allen Crabbe, Pat Connaughton and Jake Layman were all prospects that graded out favorably in regards to three-point shooting. Given their need for floor spacing, the Blazers could justify taking Windler at No. 25. If Portland can sneak back into the second round and secure Windler’s services on a non-guaranteed contract—you have the makings of a draft-night steal.
Do you want to see Windler in a Blazers jersey next season? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.