Entering the offseason, the Chicago Bulls had more than half their roster from the 2022-23 season set to hit free agency. As such, it was always inevitable that this team would have a fair amount of roster turnover over the summer. But if you had to pick one player with the best odds of being re-signed, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that most people would have agreed that Ayo Dosunmu was a relatively safe pick to return.
Although he’s a restricted free agent and the Bulls retain the right to match competitive offers for the young guard, a recent report seems to indicate Ayo is likely to be suiting up for another team next year.
Jason Bernstein — son of 670 The Score Host, Dan Bernstein — claims the delays in Dosunmu’s contract extension stem from the front office’s unwillingness to bring the guard back on their podcast Organizations Win Championships. “It is increasingly likely, by the day almost, that Ayo Dosunmu will be back with the Chicago Bulls,” Jason said, “This is from sources close to him. I don’t think he believes he will be back either.”
Considering Dan seems to corroborate this report, I could only assume this was an attempt to help his son break into sports reporting, and we should essentially treat this as a report from the elder Bernstein himself.
After winning the fanbase over during his rookie campaign, this development would come as an absolute shock if this report ends up being valid. Although not many teams have an abundance of cap space left to spend, Jason cites Toronto as a potential suitor for Dosunmu.
Despite previous reports, it seems uncertainty surrounds Ayo Dosunmu’s future with the Chicago Bulls.
This news seems to directly conflict with the previous report from Keith Smith, who spoke to an anonymous member of the Bulls front office or coaching staff at this year’s Summer League in Las Vegas.
“We’re still very high on Ayo (Dosunmu). This is how restricted free agency can go sometimes,” the source said, “Don’t read anything into our opinion of him as a player just because he isn’t signed.”
Averaging 8.7 points, 2.9 assists, and 2.8 rebounds per game and earning All-Rookie Second Team honors in 2021-22, Dosunmu has been nothing short of a blessing for a second-round pick every other team in the league overlooked. When injuries and illness struck the Bulls, he did his best to help keep this team afloat as the starting point guard, something no second-round pick should ever be expected to do on a team built to ‘win now’.
Although he may not be a starting-caliber guard at this moment in time, I believe it would be foolish to give up on Ayo at this juncture simply because he failed to improve in his second season in the NBA. We’ve already seen him surpass expectations before, so he deserves another shot with this team before we go our separate ways.
In the best-case scenario, time spent with Chicago’s new shooting coach helps Ayo fix his biggest weakness and he becomes a potential mainstay in the starting lineup for years to come in the future. In the worst-case scenario, however, Dosunmu is still a very effective role player worth having on your roster. No matter what happens, giving up on the fan-favorite from Chicago so soon would be a massive misstep on the front office’s behalf.