In addition to being an excellent basketball player growing up in Indianapolis, Indiana, Dylan Windler was also an outstanding golfer. After his successful career at Belmont — and the fact that he’s 6-foot-8 — it’s clear Windler stuck with the right sport.
Windler’s college career culminated with a virtuoso performance that landed him on the NBA’s radar. After making the Ohio Valley Conference’s First Team as a junior and senior, Windler led the Bruins into the NCAA Tournament. He had a quiet game in a play-in win over Temple, but Windler nearly led an upset of Maryland with a 35-point effort. He averaged a double-double as a senior with 21.3 points and 10.8 rebounds a game while shooting just a tick under 43 percent from three.
His most translatable NBA skill is his jumper. He has a silky smooth lefty stroke and shot over 40 percent from three over his four years in college. His size and length give him the ability to shoot over defenders. He also features a decent step-back shot and can create a little space with his handle and length. Offensively, he may be able to stick on the wing thanks to his ability to move without the ball and also put it on the floor.
On the defensive end, there is hope that he could play a combo forward role. He has the size and length to hang against fours and showed glimpses of athleticism that make you think he could stay in front of wings. He’s also an outstanding rebounder. His basketball IQ is excellent and he makes a ton of hustle/winning plays which should help greatly in carving out a role. His maturity showed in a big way when the Sixers brought him in for a workout last week.
The athleticism is there in glimpses, but he didn’t play against a ton of great competition in the OVC. While he was outstanding against Maryland, his performances against the other top teams he faced don’t inspire a ton of confidence. He struggled to find space and forced up a lot of bad perimeter shots as the focal point of Belmont’s offense.
Will he be able to move his feet well enough to cover quicker wings? That’s still to be determined. When he worked out for the Sixers, he mentioned that he’d put on weight during the pre-draft process. I’m not really sure where he put it on because he’s still very skinny. He definitely needs to put on muscle to handle NBA athletes.
The Sixers need shooting and scoring. Windler certainly fits that criteria. On a team where he’s not expected to be “the man,” he could fit in nicely as a spot-up shooter right away. He also plays hard and isn’t afraid to do the little things. That should be appealing to a team like the Sixers who need players like that to surround their stars.
In the second round, Windler is a great option, but there are mocks that now project him in the first round. Pick No. 24 is probably a little too rich. If he’s there around picks 33 and 34, he’s definitely worth taking a flyer on and could develop into a solid bench option.
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