With four second round picks this year, the Sixers could take a look at Belmont forward Dylan Windler. The 22-year-old, 6-foot-8, 200-pound sharpshooter was the premier player during his junior and senior years for the Ohio Valley Conference regular season champions. The Indianapolis native averaged a double-double his senior season for the Bruins, averaging 21.3 points and 10.8 rebounds while slashing 65.9/42.9/84.7.
Although he has a slightly low release on his shot, Windler’s height and his 6-foot-10 wingspan allow him to get shots off over virtually anyone. His adept footwork allows him to create separation on the perimeter and hit step-back 3s. Windler scored 30-plus points nine times this past season, including a 41-point game against Morehead State...
and a 35-point explosion against Maryland in the NCAA tournament.
His worst game of the season came against Temple, when Nate Pierre-Louis strapped him for just 5 points on 2-of-7 shooting in 40 minutes. (Temple still lost, sad face.)
Windler’s offensive game is more than just his 3-point shooting prowess. He is able to find space and lanes within the defense and cuts like brie cheese. He is not an elite athlete, but he has exceptional footwork and balance that allow him to get by defenders and finish at the rim. The big question is if he’ll be able to keep up with the pace and physicality of the next level. The step up from the Ohio Valley Conference to the NBA is a big one, but Windler looks like he could be able to make that step, even if it takes some time in the G League. In his workout with the Sixers on June 6, it was reported that Windler has put on an extra 10-12 pounds (bumping him up to 210-ish).
Belmont's Dylan Windler, one of the best shooters in the draft, worked out for the Sixers today. He says he thinks he could be a good role player in Philadelphia.— Noah Levick (@NoahLevick) June 6, 2019
Windler is working on gaining strength and has added 10-12 pounds since the end of Belmont's season, he said. pic.twitter.com/3QQTvWOpSM
But his shot remains the forefront of his profile as a prospect. His work as a shooter can be seen in his improvements from year-to-year. From 29 percent his freshman year, up to 39.8 percent his sophomore year, then 42.6 percent his junior year, and finally, 42.9 percent his final year at school. The most eye test comp you could possibly give him would be Joe Ingles. Lefty, a decent athlete, awesome 3-point shooter, trebuchet release on his shot, 6-foot-8 with a 6-foot-10 wingspan, etc.
But if you believe in simulation theory, it’s possible that the simulation we live in made a replicant. Looking back on Ingles’ DraftExpress breakdown, it is eerily similar to that of Windler. The release of their shots, their footwork on the setback, and the way they both lower their hands after the shot goes up are all similar. Sorry I don’t have a deeper comparison than the most obvious one possible. But watch the highlights, it’s scary. The only thing separating them is Ingles’ passing abilities in the NBA. This is not to say that Windler’s floor or ceiling is similar to Ingles... they just play the same way.
The defensive end remains the question for Windler. He gets caught ball-watching from time to time, and doesn’t always look like he knows where the right place to be is on the floor. He has admitted that he knows he needs to work on that aspect of his game, and it will be a challenge for him moving forward. But that’s what second rounders are for! Take a chance on guy who may need a season or two to develop in the G League. Assuming the Sixers bring everyone back, not many picks other than the the first rounder are bound to get playing time. So taking a chance on a small project wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.
His fit on this Sixers team could be a great spot-up shooter off the bench. Windler wouldn’t be much of a DHO guy, as he lacks the dynamic lateral movement that players like JJ Redick and Jimmy Butler possess. But any shooter on the court with Joel Embiid is bound to get a few open looks per game. (Gravity!)
*In the most extreme Tom Hanks Castaway Wilson Voice* WIIIIIINDLLLLLERRRRRRR