Most Illinois basketball fans will tell you there was never a doubt that former Illini great Ayo Dosunmu would be plying his trade in the NBA someday, it was simply a matter of time.
Then during last month’s NBA Draft, it felt like Ayo would never get chosen. We waited for hours watching team after team pass him up. Ayo’s hometown Chicago Bulls ultimately selected the 6-foot-5 guard in the second round, 38th overall.
And Chicago has now officially invested in Ayo, agreeing to a 2-year, $2.48M contract, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Chicago Bulls rookie Ayo Dosunmu, the 38th overall pick in July NBA draft, is signing a guaranteed two-year, $2.48M deal, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 13, 2021
Ayo Dosunmu will have that rare privilege of playing for his hometown team pic.twitter.com/ONQmUcmJMz— Bulls Nation (@BullsNationCP) August 14, 2021
Through three games in the NBA Summer League, Ayo has averaged 6.0 PPG 5.0 RPG, 1.3 APG and 1.3 SPG. But he has struggled from the field, shooting just 7-of-24 thus far.
Even with guaranteed money in hand, it’s unsure how many minutes Ayo will actually get to play this season. The Bulls already featured Coby White & newly-minted Olympic gold medalist Zach LaVine in their backcourt, and just added a young veteran in Alex Caruso in free agency and acquired former top-10 picks Lonzo Ball & DeMar DeRozan in sign-and-trade deals.
It’ll be difficult, but, as Ayo told the Chicago Sun-Times this week, ‘‘I know if I just play hard, compete and bring a lot of energy, it will take care of itself.’’
We hope he’s right. Congrats!