Bulls' 2022-23 season review: Ayo Dosunmu's role decreases

Bulls' 2022-23 season review: Dosunmu's role decreases originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Chicago Bulls experienced an underwhelming and inconsistent 2022-23 season, one in which they finished 40-42 and failed to exit the play-in tournament to make the playoffs.

Though the season-long absence of Lonzo Ball delivered a major blow, the Bulls still possessed plenty of their core players to perform better. But a team that never posted a four-game win streak never fully achieved consistency. For every step forward, the Bulls took a step backwards.

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Throughout this month, NBC Sports Chicago will review the seasons from each of the main rotational players, with a look ahead to next season as well.

Next up: Ayo Dosunmu

2022-23 statistics

80 games, 26.2 minutes per game, 8.6 points per game, 2.8 rebounds per game, 2.6 assists per game, 49.3 FG%, 31.2 3PT%

Contract status

Dosunmu completed the two-year, $2.5 million rookie contract he signed and will be a restricted free agent if the Bulls extend a qualifying offer. By virtue of starting 51 games, Dosunmu’s qualifying offer increased around $3 million to $5.2 million.

Season high point

Dosunmu stuffed the box score with 17 points, six rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block in the season-opening victory at Miami on Oct. 19.


Dosunmu had other very good performances throughout the season. But selecting the opener as the high point, while subjective, is symbolic. This performance, coming without Zach LaVine and Lonzo Ball, seemed to indicate Dosunmu would again be the reliable, stopgap starter---with an improved 3-point shot to boot as he sank 3 of 6.

Instead, by season’s end, Dosunmu lost his starting job and most of his reserve minutes.

Season low point

Dosunmu failed to score, missing his only shot, a 3-pointer, and recorded one foul while playing just 4 minutes, 46 seconds. Again, this selection is symbolic, contrasting the bookends to his season.
In the two play-in games, Dosunmu played less than 11 minutes total and recorded one rebound and one foul. He was barely in the rotation.



What’s odd about Dosunmu’s season is that, statistically speaking, it closely resembled his rookie season’s output. And yet, the vibe coming off of it is completely different.

Following his rookie season, Dosunmu was being celebrated as found money, a local second-round pick made good, set to embark on a double-digit NBA career.

While that last part may be true and Dosunmu’s durability and toughness remain, his second season featured regression in 3-point shooting and some stagnation overall. Dosunmu’s film habits and work ethic could push him past this---or he could ultimately be a second-round pick for a reason, a rotational player with a ceiling.


Most notably, Dosunmu’s 3-point percentage dropped from 37.6 to 31.2 percent on the same average of 2.4 attempts per game. He’ll need to more consistently make defenses respect his shot to make a larger impact.

Dosunmu’s finishing game remained strong; he has shot 70 and 68 percent from 0-3 feet in his first two seasons in the league. He’s at his best offensively when he’s attacking downhill and possesses a unique ability to score coast-to-coast after an opponent made basket.

But offense will never be Dosunmu’s main ticket to playing time. His defensive length and ability to run a team will be. On the former front, Dosunmu remained strong. On the latter, his dwindling playing time down the stretch proved telling.

Dosunmu played 80 games and only has missed seven in his first two seasons. He’s tough and plays through contact. And his finishing ability and solid shot selection led him to shooting over 58 percent on 2-pointers for the second straight season. He also drastically improved his free-throw percentage to 80.5 percent, albeit on low volume.


Dosunmu vowed to work on his 3-point shooting and his ballhandling this offseason. Where those talents play out next season will be intriguing. Both he and Coby White are headed to restricted free agency. And while Arturas Karnisovas said he’d like to re-sign both, it may be untenable since neither are true point guards and that position also needs to be addressed.

Previous player season reviews

Zach LaVine

DeMar DeRozan

Nikola Vucevic

Alex Caruso

Coby White

Patrick Williams

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