The Charlotte Hornets need shooting. Kemba Walker is a virtuoso ball handler and shot creator, but too often he was hampered by a lack of shooting around him. If the Hornets get some draft luck, they could immediately shore up that weakness with arguably the best shooter in the draft, Dylan Windler.
Height: 6’6.25” without shoes, 6’7.5” in shoes
Standing reach: 8’8.5”
Weight: 196 pounds
Vertical: 29” standing, 37.5” maximum
Strengths: Shooting stroke, offensive versatility, rebounding
Dylan Windler is a shooter. There’s a very real chance that he can turn into a J.J. Redick or Klay Thompson-like scorer. The former Belmont Bruin knocked down 42.9% of his 233 3-point attempts and 84.7% of his 137 free throw attempts as a senior. He has picture perfect mechanics off the catch and off the dribble and has deep range, even when on the move. His lightning quick release lets him get his shot off even with very little space.
Windler’s offensive contributions aren’t limited to his outside shot. He moves very well without the ball and frequently capitalizes on over pursuing defenders with back door cuts. He’s a smart and willing passer and should fit seamlessly into any offense.
Windler is a terrific rebounder for his position, despite his narrow frame. He led Belmont with 10.8 rebounds per game (13.0 per 40 minutes). He won’t be a dominant force on the glass physically, but he works hard and positions himself well.
Question marks: Attacking the basket, defensive potential, room for growth
Windler does most of his damage from the perimeter and off savvy cuts. He’s not a dynamic ball handler and doesn’t attack the rim with the ball in his hands. Whatever team drafts shouldn’t expect him to create too much with the ball in his hands. Much like Thompson and Reddick, he should be leaned on more as an off ball mover that makes snap decisions on the catch. He’ll struggle if he’s asked to attack from the perimeter.
Windler is very light for a combo forward at just 195 pounds. There might be room for a little bit more muscle on his frame, but the fact that he hasn’t gained more weight despite being nearly 23 years old. There’s reason to worry he’ll get pushed around by the more physical wings in the NBA. He also posted a +1.4 defensive box plus/minus as a senior, which isn’t good at all, especially considering that statistic should be boosted by his strong rebounding numbers.
As is the case with most prospects of Windler’s ilk, his age is a red flag. He’ll be 23 years old at the start of his rookie season, so NBA executives will probably question if there’s any growth left in him. He improved every year in college and his current skill set should help any NBA team immediately, but teams often find it easier to sell themselves on the future growth of a player than what he is right now.
Dylan Windler can immediately bolster the Hornets shaky outside shooting if he falls to them at 36. His overall skill level should provide a big boost to an offensive that became overly reliant on Walker too often, but he probably won’t help the team’s struggling defense.