Bulls Breakout Rookie Earns Lofty NBA Honor

Ayo Dosunmu

Getty Images Ayo Dosunmu

The Chicago Bulls’ successful 2021-22 season continued into the offseason on Wednesday when rookie guard Ayo Dosunmu was named to the Kia NBA All-Rookie Second Team. In the voting, Dosunmu received 75 points from the 100 casted ballots by sportswriters and broadcasters. Dosunmu received two first-team votes and 71 second-team votes.

Scottie Barnes, Cade Cunningham, Evan Mobley, Franz Wagner, and Jalen Green made up the first team. Herbert Jones, Josh Giddey, Bones Hyland, and Chris Duarte joined Dosunmu on the second team.

Dosunmu was also the only second-round pick from the 2021 NBA Draft that was selected for an All-Rookie team. Dosunme is the 22nd Chicago Bulls player to be named to an All-Rookie team joining names like Michael Jordan, Derrick Rose, and most recently Patrick Williams.


A Draft Steal

With the way, Dosunmu has played so far it appears the Bulls might have landed the steal of the draft when he fell to them in the second round at the 38th overall pick. Dosunmu was a natural fit being a Chicago native and starring at nearby Illinois in college.

During his rookie campaign, Dosunmu averaged 8.8 points, 3.3 assists, and 2.8 rebounds per game. He also shot 52% from the field and 37.6% from three.

A lot was asked of Dosunmu when Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso went down with injuries and he was elevated to the starting lineup. Ayo started 40 games for the Bulls this season and averaged 27.6 minutes per game. His play helped Chicago fill the void that was left by the absence of Ball and Caruso.

During his first playoff experience, Dosunmu struggled as many rookies do. He averaged just 4.0 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.2 assists in 17.2 minutes per game.

During the season Bulls, head coach Billy Donovan praised Dosunmu’s attention to detail and his desire to always get better.

“He’s got a certain kind of makeup that I think is really special,” Donovan said. “He’s ultra-competitive and he has unbelievable confidence and belief in himself. But it’s not cross-the-line arrogant. That’s really a hard combination.”

After being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Milwaukee Bucks Dosunmu expressed that he would like to play this summer for the Bulls’ summer league team. Whether the Bulls’ will let him is unclear at this time, but with the way Dosunmu has been praised for his work ethic, he’ll find a way to get better this summer regardless.


Crucial Offseason

The Bulls’ offseason plans are still in a bit of a holding pattern as they await the free agency decision of All-Star Zach LaVine. The Bulls can offer LaVine a max contract of five years $212 million while other teams can offer a four years $157 million contract.

Since the Bulls season ended four other teams have been named as possible suitors for LaVine. The Spurs, Lakers, Blazers, and Sixers have all been named as possible landing spots for LaVine.

LaVine will also undergo a scope procedure on his knee in the coming weeks and it’s unclear at this time if that will affect what the Bulls or other teams are willing to offer him. Ultimately what LaVine decides will shape the Bulls’ entire offseason.

 

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