Good Morning, Illini Nation: Ayo and the Bulls | Sports

Good Morning, Illini Nation: Ayo and the Bulls | Sports


Welcome to “Good Morning, Illini Nation,” your daily dose of college basketball news from Illini beat writer and AP Top 25 voter Scott Richey. He’ll offer up insights every morning on Brad Underwood’s team:

Ayo Dosunmu will make his professional debut on Monday in Las Vegas with the Chicago Bulls’ Summer League team. Dosunmu and the Bulls will face the New Orleans Pelicans at 2 p.m. in a game available on the ESPN app. New Orleans, of course, has former Illinois guard Malcolm Hill on its roster.

Dosunmu landing with Chicago in the NBA draft appeared the best case scenario after he slipped out of the first round. The Bulls were looking for backcourt answers heading into the draft and free agency and had just nine players under contract when Dosunmu — the hometown star — landed at their feet.

The fit is a bit more tenuous now that the NBA is a week into free agency. Chicago has traded for Lonzo Ball and DeMar DeRozan, signed Alex Caruso and re-signed Javonte Green. Not to mention already having NBA All-Star and Olympic gold medalist Zach Lavine and Coby White on the roster. The Bulls also gave Devon Dotson a qualifying offer, and he’s on the Summer League team.

Now, Chicago might find itself in a bit of a pickle after the Ball sign-and-trade — perhaps a bit of tampering there the NBA is now investigating — but the former New Orleans point guard is still going to wind up with the Bulls. In a now semi-crowded backcourt Dosunmu will have to navigate.

What seemed like an open door to an NBA rotation isn’t the same now. Dosunmu can still prove himself in Summer League and earn a spot in Chicago’s rotation. If he doesn’t, there’s always the G League, and it’s not like he has to go play in South Dakota or something. The Windy City Bulls play in Hoffman Estates. 

The G League also isn’t viewed the same as it was early in its inception. This past season 33 different players combined for 41 call-ups from the G League to the NBA. It’s a legitimate path. A path Dosunmu might wind up taking.

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