2. Ayo Dosunmu
Drafted 38th overall in 2021, Ayo Dosunmu was clearly playing with a chip on his shoulder last season. With each passing game, the former Naismith Player of the Year Finalist was granted the opportunity to make each team regret passing on him in the draft.
After getting bumped into the starting five as the full-time starting point guard, Dosunmu did the best he could to fill the void left by Ball. He averaged 11 points, 5.2 assists, and 3.4 rebounds per game while shooting 52.1% from the field and 35.7% from beyond the arc in over 40 games.
For a rookie, this was quite the achievement and was enough to have Ayo be named to the All-Rookie Second Team, joining other promising prospects Josh Giddey, Herb Jones, Chris Duarte, and Bones Hyland.
There are likely fewer suitors lining up for Ayo Dosunmu after he took a step back in his sophomore season with the Bulls.
Unfortunately, Dosunmu would run headfirst into a sophomore slump this season and struggled to have a similar impact as he did as a rookie with averages of 9.2 points and 3 assists on 49.5% shooting and 30.4% from deep in 51 games as a starter. This is a common problem many young players have, but it’s clear now more than ever he has significant strides left to make, particularly as a shooter.
Ayo is set to hit restricted free agency this summer, so he’s no longer an affordable cost-controlled young asset with several years left on his deal. Dosunmu will presumably receive a fair deal on the open market, meaning barring any massive improvements, it’s less likely he’ll ever be seen as the huge ‘steal’ everyone thought he was as a rookie. His trade value simply isn’t what it once was anymore.