Central Notes: Windler, Brogdon, Cunningham, Caruso

Cavaliers guard/forward Dylan Windler has struggled with injuries during his first two seasons, but is healthy now and says he is ready to contribute.Dylan Windler

“I’m in a really good headspace right now,” Windler told reporters. “My knee is feeling the best it’s felt since I’ve been here, so that’s huge for me. That was half the battle for me last year, fighting through that.

“It led to more problems, not only physically but mentally. I’m in a clear headspace right now, had the best training camp I’ve had by far, so I’m ready to prove myself all over again and help this team win a lot of games.”

The Cavs won 19 games in Windler’s first season, 22 last year. He was part of a 2019 draft class that included guards Darius Garland and Kevin Porter Jr., all selected in the first round. (Porter has since been traded to the Rockets.)

Garland offered praise for Windler recently, and other teammates have indicated it’s clear he is finally fully healthy.

“I hit the ground running, going full speed,” he said. “My legs feel good, wind feels good. I feel in really good shape and feel really good so far. I’m happy with it.”

More from the Central

  • Guard Malcolm Brogdon and the Pacers have a new coach in Rick Carlisle this season, and Brogdon says he himself intends to be even more of a leader than ever. “My leadership will go to a whole other level this year. We had needed that voice in the locker room. We need someone to hold guys accountable, to demand more of guys. And that’s going to be me.”
  • Pistons rookie and No. 1 overall pick Cade Cunningham suffered a mild ankle injury at practice, but coach Dwane Casey indicated it’s nothing serious. “Health-wise, just like any other training camp, you’re going to have nicks and bruises and turned ankles, but nothing is at all serious — zero,” Casey said. “Cade has a turned ankle. It’s very mild, but we’re going to be cautious, just to make sure that he recovers before next week.”
  • New Bulls guard Alex Caruso said he hopes to bring toughness to the lineup right away. “I think the things I’m good at, the team needs and the team can use,’’ he said. ‘‘I think that’s part of the reason they brought me here. Just trying to do my best to rub off on the other guys.”
  • In case you missed it, the Cavs, Pacers and Pistons are among the teams still exploring a trade for 76ers star Ben Simmons. You can read the full story on Hoops Wire right here.

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