Cavaliers Rookie Spotlight

Cavaliers Rookie Spotlight

David Marrinan-Hayes
2 years ago
2 min read

Dylan Windler

After a lot of hype for Dylan Windler, his rookie season was supposed to fill Cavs fans with excitement. He was a sharpshooter and terrific rebounder during his senior year at Belmont, and when he finally got healthy, good things were expected to be on the horizon.

Well, Windler has now been a DNP-Coach’s Decision for the last two contests, after failing to see second-half action in five of the prior six games. Every part of his game has been lacking, and you just hate to see it.

Isaac Okoro

No matter how poorly he may shoot, Isaac Okoro will have tremendous value to the Cavs. His ability to play on the defensive end is not something that can just be taught to anybody. Okoro continues to work his tail off to limit the opposition’s opportunities, by locking it down on the perimeter.

There should be some sort of concern about the lack of scoring, but he’s probably working vigorously on it behind the scenes. Okoro was the Cavs #5 pick for a reason, and he is only going to improve. Playing your rookie year after being with the team for just two months is very different than what Garland or Sexton had to endure, as they also went through growing pains.

Look for Okoro to have strong performances this week against Philly and Miami.

Brodric Thomas

Brodric Thomas has improved as time has gone on. On a two-way contract, he was a Division-II player at Truman State University. When you get to the NBA after not having the traditional D-1 career, you exceed expectations just by getting there. Nobody aside from Thomas and his inner circle saw something like this as possible.

He has the potential to be a sharpshooter, though he does struggle with consistency. He’s had some quality performances in the last week, but his consistency needs some work. His 6’11 wingspan and defensive ability will probably keep him in the rotation for the remainder of the season.

He has overtaken both Dylan Windler and Cedi Osman in the rotation at this point, even making his first NBA start on Saturday.

Lamar Stevens

Perhaps the hardest worker on the entire Cavs roster, undrafted rookie Lamar Stevens has surely been a diamond in the rough. Though his statistics won’t wow you, he’s been an incredible defender, able to get his shot from time to time. The more minutes he plays, the better he’ll look, and the more confidence he’ll garner.

For the first time all season, Stevens was the first Cav off the bench in the loss to Utah. Though they were extremely short-handed, when Isaiah Hartenstein picked up two fouls in 38 seconds, Lamar came in to spell him. That shows the trust that exists between JB and his talented rookie.

It’s been a great experience watching Lamar Stevens grow. And he’s only going to get better from here. Quite possibly the team’s most impactful rookie.

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