Peachtree Hoops keep it up NBA Draft 2021 Scouting Report Series with a dive on Ayo Dosunmu, a ranger from Illinois.
Age: 21 (Jan 17, 2000)
Height: 6 ‘5 ”
Span: 6 ’10 ”
Weight: 200 pounds.
Guard prospects entering the NBA in recent years, especially mid-rounds, have apparently fallen into two archetypes (with notable exceptions evident). There’s the run-and-gun game shooter who usually can’t play a defensive shot, and then there’s the physical combo guard who can defend a position but has shot consistency issues (Cole Anthony vs. RJ Hampton anyone?). Ayo Dosunmu, the 21-year-old junior from Illinois, definitely falls into the latter of those two categories, but this awkward generalization obviously doesn’t tell the whole story.
Dosunmu is a talented goalie who has all the tools to be a lasting member of the NBA. He’s a threat in transition, can finish at the rim, and is probably one of the strongest two or three defenders in the class. Current issues are questions surrounding its shooting potential, advanced playmaking beyond standard readings, and an overall advantage given its age. Ultimately I see him going somewhere in the 23-26 range, but don’t be surprised if he falls. It seems like the chatter has calmed down on Dosunmu since his breakout performance at Illinois this season.
Dosunmu has the athleticism, measurables, and cunning to be a threat when he attacks the rim. He has great jumping ability and cuts through defenses quickly when guarded by a slower defender. He can finish with both hands in traffic and can sense where defenders will jump around them using his body control. I believe this skill will be projected to the next level.
Dosunmu has elite speed and is especially special to watch when he catches the ball from the glass and pushes it towards the ground. This is where his playmaking ability really shines, both his grip and his passing. In the disarray of the transition, he’s able to spot his teammates faster and his agility allows him to enter weak spots on the break and reach the rim.
Dosunmu’s speed is also reflected in his ball handling where he exhibits a devastating crossover and some great hesitation skills. When in the half court, he frequently uses these moves to enter his lane and finish. He can also do reads after shooting the second defender, so the grip is really the start of his isolation game and the most important skill he has to demonstrate at the next level.
Consistency of shooting
Dosunmu’s biggest and most glaring flaw is his inconsistency as a shooter. He showed some fluidity when he shot off the dribble with his right hand, but the release is slow and his lower body is all over the place. He’s rarely shown this skill from 3 points either, so I don’t see him consistently doing it against the NBA defense. His catch & shoot game is not ready for the NBA, mainly because of the awkwardness of its release. His career FT% in college was 75.0% (but he’s improved every season), so it’s not a given that he won’t develop his jumper, but at 21, you must be wondering how much his game can change.
Although Dosunmu is an excellent ball player with incredible speed, he hasn’t quite shown the ability to fully see the ground and execute higher difficulty passes, which would be expected of a point guard. NBA game. He often chooses the first read when his speed and maneuverability puts him in space, but he can sometimes be late with that read and he often doesn’t see or anticipate other options. Technically, he can also make passing mistakes at times, which can lead to some nasty turnovers. These types of issues are things NBA coaches hate and could impact his playing time if he doesn’t fix them.
Defense on the ball
Point-of-attack defense is incredibly important in today’s NBA and Dosunmu looks up to the challenge. He has shown great promise as a main defender and due to his size and stature he can really dominate some clashes defensively. He is very good at weaving around pickaxes and has the speed to go over or under screens. He is always engaged and plays with intensity. He might not be as impressive as an off-ball defender, but he’s still pretty good. His defense could be the reason he sees the ground in his rookie season, especially if he’s drafted by a team in need of better defensive guards.
These measurable elements work well for a very useful defender, and especially a defender who could possibly defend down to the small attacking position in the right game. This versatility will be appealing to many rosters, and if he truly reaches his potential, it could make him very valuable in the future. He needs to put on some weight before he’s ready to regularly watch NBA forwards.
Although it is not a Wrong An off-ball defender, Dosunmu can lose some focus when not on the ball. In order for him to reach his full potential in terms of versatility, he needs to be as stuck on the ball as he is on it. But I don’t foresee that to be a big deal in his NBA career.
Conclusion and Hawks Fit
Overall, Dosunmu is a solid prospect who will likely end up as a spinning piece or a fifth starter. He won’t be a superstar, and at 21 one has to wonder if there is a cap as high as one would like for someone who still lacks sophistication in so many ways. That said, if he develops a solid jumper, especially in catch & shoot situations where he’s not the primary ball manager, he could really thrive in the NBA. Defensively, if it reaches its potential, there is All-Defense in reverse. He has all the tools and defense will give him minutes, but the shot will limit his ability to really stand out to the next level.
I doubt the Hawks would rate Dosunmu as the No. 20 pick; Keon Johnson, Jaden Springer, and Miles McBride would all likely end up higher on the big board at State Farm Arena. That said, you could see the place for Dosunmu in Atlanta. The Hawks have lacked a dynamic goalie while Trae Young is absent, especially one who can change the form of a defense. Dosunmu isn’t the level of playmaker the Hawks would seek, but his ability to reach the edge opens up options for the Hawks’ second unit with the level of fire provided by Danilo Gallinari, Tony Snell, and Kevin Huerter. Kris Dunn hasn’t played any meaningful minutes for the Hawks this season, if he’s not a part of Atlanta’s future plans, Dosunmu could fit the same mold and be valuable in Atlanta. Depending on what the board looks like, the Hawks might just sign a player of Dosunmu’s defensive prowess, as the offensive side of the ball is handled well by this team.