Bulls

NBA Draft 2021: Bulls select Ayo Dosunmu with 38th pick

Bulls

How about this for a story?

With the 38th pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, the Chicago Bulls checked off an offseason box by selecting star University of Illinois combo guard — and Chicago native — Ayo Dosunmu.

"We didn’t expect him to be available at 38. I’m sure he was expecting to go higher," Bulls executive vice president Artūras Karnišovas said. "So he’s going to be motivated to come and work hard here."

Dosunmu, 21, played three seasons at Illinois, but saved his best for last by averaging 20.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists while shooting a collegiate career-best 39 percent from 3-point range in 2020-21, his junior year.

That season, he was a consensus first-team All-American and Bob Cousy Award winner, among other honors, and led the Illini to a Big Ten Tournament title and No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Before his collegiate career, he starred at Morgan Park High School.

"He does a little bit of everything," Karnišovas said. "He does a lot of scoring. He [averaged] 5 assists and 6 rebounds. Steals. He’s versatile, long, 6-10 wingspan, 6-5 (height). So he has size. He’s a combo guard. We rely on versatility and that’s what we’re looking forward to see."

 

Now, Dosunmu steps into a Bulls back court in need of depth, playmaking and defensive mettle. The 6-foot-5 guard supplied the latter two qualities in droves at Illinois, in addition to leadership and clutch play.

Precisely where he slots in for a team that has long reportedly planned to upgrade the point guard position this offseason remains to be seen. The next step, Karnišovas said, is Summer League in August, and no expectations are yet being set.

But the Bulls no doubt believe they have found a contributor for the present and years to come. And Dosunmu won't be moving far to make his NBA dreams a reality.

RELATED: Karnišovas believes Ayo Dosunmu's toughness fits Bulls

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