Hawks fill final 2-way slot with former Knicks, Lakers wing

The Atlanta Hawks finalized their roster with the addition of this former Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks wing.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Dylan Windler
Los Angeles Lakers guard Dylan Windler / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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The Atlanta Hawks (24-36) waited until the final hours, but they have filled their final roster spot.

They signed former Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks wing Dylan Windler to a two-way contract, as first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The 6-foot-7 Windler, 27, was the No. 26 overall pick in 2019 by the Cleveland Cavaliers. He is averaging 1.4 points and shooting 50% from beyond the arc (obviously, on extremely limited volume) this season, splitting it between the Lakers and Knicks.

Windler replaces Trent Forrest, who had his two-way contract converted to a standard one.

He averaged a career-high 5.2 points as a rookie with the Cavs in 2019. He is averaging 13.0 points, 10.2 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.0 steals in six G League appearances this season.

That includes a 15.0/14.3/1.7 line with the Westchester Knicks (three appearances).

The Hawks got an up close and personal look at Windler with the Lakers on January 30, when he scored a season-high six points with one assist and one rebound in garbage time. Atlanta won that game by 16 points, underscoring the role Windler previously held.

He figures to offer injury support for the Hawks while continuing his strong G League play with one of the league’s more intriguing farm systems.

Dylan Windler joining intriguing collection of talent for Hawks

Windler joins veteran Vit Krejci and rookie second-round pick Seth Lundy as the Hawks’ three two-way players, with Monday the final day players could be signed to such deals for the rest of the season.

Those three offer an interesting mix of skills.

Krejci offers size and some ability to handle the ball in the halfcourt. Lundy provides solid size on the wing with three-point shooting.

Windler, meanwhile, has shown to have an all-around offensive package that works in the G League and has flashed in the NBA. Whether or not he gets a chance to showcase the latter before the season is over is unclear, though unlikely if everyone remains healthy.

Could Hawks’ decision mean playing time for intriguing rookie?

This decision begs a few questions. First, is this a sign that the Hawks are comfortable with backup center Onyeka Okongwu’s progress in his rehab from a sprained toe?

They have starter Clint Capela and backup Bruno Fernando, who has played well in Okongwu’s absence. But they are already a small team and adding a player like Miles Norris of the Skyhawks would have been an understandable move.

The second question is related to the first: could rookie Mouhamed Gueye get a shot?

Gueye, taken seven picks ahead of Lundy with the No. 39 overall pick in this year’s draft, is a wiry 6-foot-11 and has already flashed his skill set in his brief G League tenure.

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