Ayo Dosunmu Has Reached New Heights on the Rookie Ladder

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Ayo Dosunmu Has Reached New Heights on the Rookie Ladder

Chicago Bulls

I don’t need to tell you how great Ayo Dosunmu has been this season … so I’ll let someone else do it!

Each week NBA dot com releases an updated Rookie Ladder, and the Chicago Bulls second-round pick has continued his ascent up the leader boards. Indeed, Dosunmu has officially made his highest appearance yet, falling one spot short of entering the prestigious Top-5.

Here’s where things currently stand:

Evan Mobley
Scottie Barnes
Josh Giddey
Cade Cunningham
Franz Wagner
Ayo Dosunmu

For a complete look at the list, click here

Dosunmu previously sat at No. 8-overall, which was his highest positioning since this updated ranking. This recent rise makes plenty of sense considering his continued calm and collected response to taking over the team’s starting point guard duties. He has averaged 11.8 points, 6.9 assists, and 4.1 rebounds per game in his last 17 games. The rookie has also shot an efficient 54.1 percent from the field and 41.0 percent from downtown on roughly 4.0 attempts per game.

Dosunmu has recorded four double-doubles since stepping into the starting role, three of which came thanks to his polished playmaking. He is now averaging the most assists among rookies since January 16th, and NBA dot com notes that his nine games with 8+ assists over the last month ties the mark No. 1-overall pick Cade Cunningham has on the entire season.

Seriously, I can’t stress just how impressive his passing chops have been. While I always thought Dosunmu deserved a bit more praise for his facilitating coming into the draft (averaged 5.3 assists in his final season at Illinois), I never expected him to be this efficient this fast. Not only does he have the NBA’s sixth-most total assists over the last month, putting him in the same conversation as the league’s best facilitators, but he holds the 7th-best assist-to-turnover ratio among players who have averaged at least 30 minutes per game.

I think the guy also deserves a tip of the hat for just how many minutes he’s been able to eat. While I’m sure it’s not what head coach Billy Donovan prefers, Dosunmu has averaged 38.0 minutes per game as a starter. He’s played more than 40 minutes in two of the last three games. Again, we don’t want to see him have to bear this burden, but it does help speak to how reliable and impactful he has turned out to be. The Bulls have been able to lean on Dosunmu in a way that surely isn’t common for first-year players, all while continuing to stack wins.

With plenty of more games in the starting lineup ahead, who’s to say how high Dosunmu can climb. I’m not prepared to say he’ll officially enter the rookie of the year convo just yet (Evan Mobley and Scottie Barnes likely have a sizable lead), but there is a path for the 38th-overall pick to finish this season as a top-5 rookie. Thank goodness no one knew that on draft night!   

Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.