The Chicago Bulls came into the 2021 NBA Draft with a single pick — the 38th overall pick — after trading their first-round pick to the Orlando Magic in the Nikola Vucevic trade. Surprisingly, multiple first-round talents were available when pick No. 38 rolled around, and the Bulls selected guard Ayo Dosunmu from the University of Illinois. Dosunmu, widely viewed as a late first-round pick, comes in and fills a position of need as a combo-guard off the bench.
Ayo Dosunmu, CG, Illinois, Junior
Measurements: HT: 6’5″, WT: 194.4 WING: 6’10.25″
Key Stats: 20.1 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 5.3 APG, 39% 3-point
At the University of Illinois, Dosunmu was a three-year starter. He led the Illini to a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament as a junior before the team fell to Loyola-Chicago in the second round.
Dosunmu’s size and length stand out as a strength. The combo guard is 6-foot-5 with a long wingspan, which he utilized to lock down opposing players on defense. He plays great on-ball defense and will fight through and around screens, taking good angles. Offensively, Dosunmu loves to score in transition, as evidenced by the fact that he was third in the nation in points scored in transition. That will play well with the likes of Zach LaVine, Coby White, and Patrick Williams. Dosunmu sports a creative and relatively strong handle. As a result, he will be comfortable handling the ball as a lead guard with the second unit.
Moreover, Dosunmu is more than effective in the half-court offensively. He creates separation and uses screens effectively. Although Dosunmu doesn’t offer much in terms of verticality, he still made 55% of his half-court shots at the rim — a very solid number for a guard. Add in the fact that most of those attempts are self-created, and it gets even better.
For Dosunmu, the shot is an area that scouts and media will focus on as an area of improvement. In 2020-21, Dosunmu made 39% of his threes on 2.9 attempts per game. Still, his shooting mechanics leave a lot to be desired. His lower body isn’t as involved as it needs to be, and teams will feel comfortable going under screens when guarding him.
Furthermore, Dosunmu’s catch-and-shoot game will need work. Last season, he only made 36% of his catch-and-shoot attempts. In general, he doesn’t seem as comfortable receiving the ball and getting into his motion as he is when he is creating for himself. Dosunmu will also need to work on his turnovers. His 1.6 assist-to-turnover ratio isn’t terrible. However, the six turnovers against Loyola-Chicago in the tournament ended his collegiate career on a sour note.
Dosunmu is a steal for the Chicago Bulls at pick No. 38. He is a legitimate first-round talent who could have worked his way up to a fringe-lottery pick if he had a better tournament. Dosunmu can come in and contribute right away for the Bulls, which is exciting for a second-round pick. Plus, you have a Chicago kid who attended Illinois now playing for the Bulls? I mean, come on — that’s one hell of a story.