All things considered, the Chicago Bulls have enjoyed a relatively flawless offseason thus far. Their ceiling may still not be high enough to grasp for a championship, but after drafting Julian Phillips, reaching extremely team-friendly deals with Coby White and Jevon Carter, and already witnessing Nikola Vucevic’s contract extension begin to age well, the Bulls have to be quite pleased with themselves thus far.
If they don’t act fast, however, that could all change very soon. Just two years removed from drafting a steal at No. 38 overall, Chicago could lose promising hometown talent Ayo Dosunmu in free agency. With only a few particularly interesting players left on the market, teams with cap space left to spend will likely turn to Ayo as a long-term investment.
After The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor likened Dosunmu to Bruce Brown in 2022, it was only a matter of time until other teams began using their financial flexibility against the cap-strapped Bulls. If a team like the San Antonio Spurs ponies up a respectable offer for Ayo, it will be impossible for Chicago to match without exceeding the self-imposed $172 million hard cap.
The Chicago Bulls risk losing Ayo Dosunmu in free agency if they don’t ink a deal with him soon.
With the talent pool of this year’s free agent pool dwindling down, it should come as no surprise that Dosunmu would begin tracking on other team’s radars. This isn’t just pure speculation either, as Ayo has reportedly received interest from at least one other Eastern Conference rival looking to bolster their backcourt rotation.
Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports indicates the Raptors could emerge with an offer for Dosunmu.
"“Toronto did add Dennis Schröder as a replacement, and the Raptors, sources said, had also expressed interest in Bulls restricted free agent guard Ayo Dosunmu. It remains to be seen if Toronto will conduct further business to overcome the loss of its starting point guard.”"
After losing both Fred VanVleet and Dalano Banton in free agency, it should come as no surprise that Toronto would look to restock their depth with one of the best remaining guards on the market. As more free agency dominoes fall, I expect they’ll be just one of many interested teams in bringing a promising player like Dosunmu on board.
Fortunately, the Bulls do retain the right to match any offer sheet up to 105% of the average salary of all players in the league last season. This would lock Ayo up to a deal with Chicago for at least the next two seasons, unless he decides to accept his $5.2 million qualifying offer, in which case he would become an unrestricted free agent at the end of next season.