One thumb through Twitter is all it takes to build a case for Patrick Williams being the most shrugged-off Chicago Bulls player ahead of the 2022-2023 NBA season.
Just 93 games into his career, the former fourth-overall pick is already the object of severely lowered expectations. Or, in some cases, fierce pessimism.
But according to Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report, the Bulls’ most underrated player isn’t Williams. It’s Ayo Dosunmu.
Buckley admits the All-Rookie Second-Team honoree’s season didn’t exactly go unnoticed. But he also points out that “What he did was not normal; he was just so smooth in his execution that he made it appear as such.”
That much is hard to argue.
Thanks to injuries to Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso, Dosunmu started more games (40) than not (37) last season. And he averaged 10.4 points, 5.4 assists, 3.6 rebounds, 1.1 steals, and 1.8 turnovers in those contests.
“The sink-or-swim test could have drowned him,” Buckley said before comparing how the second-round pick handled the increased workload to how the man considered to be the greatest professional surfer of all time tackles open water.
“But he managed to just ride the waves like a young Kelly Slater.”
Truth be told, Dosunmu could soon be asked to do the same next season. What, between Ball’s health and the caution Alex Caruso throws to the wind whenever he’s on the court.
Whether or not Dosunmu meets the challenge yet again doesn’t figure to factor as heavily into the Chicago Bulls’ success as Williams’ growth.
But, as fans continue to bemoan what Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley did — and didn’t do — this offseason, Ayo Dosunmu’s own capacity for improvement has managed to fly under the radar.
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