Ayo Dosunmu – NBA 2020 Draft Scouting Report by Zach Smith
2020 draft age: 20.8
Measurements: 6’5” / 185lb
Advanced Stats: 21.8 AST% / 7.3 REB% / 1.5 STL% / 0.6 BLK %
108.2 OFF RTG and 99.3 DEF RTG for a +8.9 NET RTG
54.9 TS% on 26.5 USG%
Background: First Team All Big Ten… Big Ten All Freshman during his first year at Illinois… Born in Chicago… Youngest of 4 siblings… Wears #11 because of his friend Darius Brown who passed away… Grew up idolizing Kobe Bryant and Derrick Rose… Won Gold at FIBA U18… Ranked 34th in the country out of high school by ESPN… Won two consecutive 3A state championships… Chose Illinois because, “It is the best place for me to focus on books and basketball, to help us win and represent my home state.”…
Personality: Kofi Cockburn saying the Illini “trust him” and that they know “he steps up and makes tough shots and makes tough plays” and that he’s “a true leader.”… Talks about his faith a lot… Loves to have his family at his games… Superstitious about cutting his hair midseason… Understands his weaknesses as a shooter…
Injury History: Knee Injury In February, but no structural damage… Missed 1 game…
Athleticism: Not much vertical pop… 6-6 on dunks this year and a 0.6 BLK%… Laterally quick… Needs to put on muscle, but has a solid frame… Solid quick twitch movements… Accelerates and decelerates quickly…
Projected Fit: Slashing two guard w/ ability to facilitate
Projected Draft Landing: Late second or undrafted
High: Starting Two Guard
Dosunmu’s role will be to stall the best offensive guard every night. He is consistently a plus defensive player in most metrics. He may get a look or two for an All Defense team at some point. On the offensive end of the floor, it would be considered growth for him if he can shoot the NBA 3 at a 30% clip, just enough to make defenders have to guard him. He is an above average finisher at the rim, but may struggle at times against NBA defenders to get downhill. There will be some possessions where Dosunmu settles for his mid range shot off the dribble. He will be of great value as an undrafted player if this path pans out well.
Medium: Defensive Role Player
Dosunmu takes on a Kris Dunn type role with an NBA organization. He plays solid defense every night and struggles at times on offense. There isn’t a scenario where Dosunmu isn’t at least an average defender. On the offensive end of the floor, he doesn’t offer an outside jumper, and almost all his offense comes from the midrange and rim. He struggles at times to get all the way to the rim, but finishes well once he gets there. The lack of a jumper could hinder his playmaking ability because he isn’t respected enough for defenders to go over screens in the PNR.
Low: G League Slasher
Dosunmu is a high volume G League scorer. He guards the best prospect every night and is given the reins on offense to create shots. His efficiency when scoring the ball will be one thing that holds his back from an NBA roster spot. His shooting also remains a major weakness and never really develops. He has a long career in the G League with spot minutes at the next level. His playmaking ability won’t be shown that often due to the burden he carries as a scorer.
Slashing: Dosunmu is a good slasher. He finished at the rim at a 71% clip. That’s extremely valuable, especially for a guard. He did that on high volume as well, finishing the season with 136 attempts in the restricted area. He gets downhill quickly, even in isolations. Winston at Michigan State got it bad. He doesn’t get downhill with some crazy handle, but with his burst and first step. He’s a crafty finisher with a lot of different shots in his bag. His acceleration and deceleration are his best assets for getting to the rim and quickly stopping and throwing up floaters or layups.
Mid Range: Dosunmu can get to his midrange jumper whenever he pleases. He shot it at an average clip of 39%, but almost all of these were off the dribble (only 18.8% of these buckets were assisted.) His mid range jumper is sort of a combination between his 3 point jumper and his floater. He almost floats on his midrange jumpers, almost always landing closer to the rim than where he initially takes the shot. He also struggles at times with his release, not maintaining much arch on it. He takes this shot at opportune times, typically in transition and late shot clock situations. Dosunmu actually shot better off the dribble (42 FG% & 0.898 PPP) than off the catch (28.8 FG% & 0.818 PPP) in the half court. His best offense in the PNR also was his pullup jumper once he got downhill off of the screening action.
Facilitating: Dosunmu is best at facilitating off of a live dribble in transition. He can throw some exciting passes cross court with his right hand. His TO% was quite high at 18.3%, but he was a focal point of an offense. There isn’t a ton of correlation either between a low collegiate TO% and NBA success. So from a statistical standpoint, that shouldn’t be a problem. He created well for others, mainly in a slashing role. He has a score first mentality, so defenders take him seriously off the dribble and help defenders gravitate toward him. This opens up passing lanes for Dosunmu. When he drew pressure in the PNR, he created 0.96 PPP through his passes and drawing fouls.
Playing Within His Role: Dosunmu puts up great value with a reasonable USG%. He only had 5 games this year with a USG% over 30%. If you look at his offensive skill curve from Barttorvik, he has a massive dropoff in offensive rating when his usage gets above 25%, dropping from around 130 to 105.
A great example of a game where Ayo provided value with a low USG% was against North Carolina A&T. Cockburn was the offensive focus in this game and Ayo took a back seat. His USG% this game was only 21.3%. He still managed to contribute with a box score of 19 pts, 7 rbs, and 2 asts. He passed the eye test as well. He doesn’t run to the top of the key demanding the ball. Instead he cuts to the hoop and creates spacing for ball handlers. He’s not the primary ball handler and he knows that. He also plays up to his opponents. In 16 games against Top 50 opponents, his BPM rose from 5.4 to 6.8 (+1.4) and his AST% up from 21.5% to 24.5% (+3%). The same thing happened his freshman year in his 17 games against Top 50 opponents with his BPM going +0.6 and AST% going +1.9%.
Areas of Improvement:
3 Point Shooting: Dosunmu struggles to shoot from deep. He only shot 29.6% from three this year, down from 35.2% during his freshman year. His jumper needs work. Starting with his footwork, it’s extremely inconsistent and awkward. He rarely lands where he jumps on his shot, typically going forward. This could be understandable on shots off movement, but it even happens on set shots. It also takes him some time to get his shot off. He just stares at the rim sometimes before taking his jumper. His upper body also has some issues on his release. He shoots a very flat ball without much arch. This is painfully apparent on his free throws. He also has a rather inconsistent finish with his off hand, opening it up at times. This is more of a visually unappealing detail. This also affects the rotation on his shot along with the power on his shot. This could be a way to compensate for the flat release. He will need some real work with a professional shooting coach.
Off Hand: Dosunmu struggled going to his left and Illinois tried to avoid that. His PPP in the PNR doubled when he was going to his right instead of his left (1.23 PPP compared to 0.63 PPP). He doesn’t try to make many difficult plays with his left, sticking to his right for those live dribble passes. This is an issue most young guards face though and I can see his work ethic kicking in here. Even top guards like Killian have the same issues with their off hand.
Drawing Fouls: Dosunmu’s lack of free throws is worrisome because his offensive game is grounded in his slashing ability. His FTr sat at 23.7%, which is very poor for a lead guard. He didn’t even attempt four three throws in 17 of his games (57%). It may have something to do with his style of finishing. He attacks the rim aggressively but pulls up for floaters or takes an off balance shot to avoid contact. He has a solid center of gravity that he can adjust very quickly, decelerating very quickly. This might be part of the reason why he doesn’t draw these fouls. This is one thing that Ayo can adjust pretty easily.
Hustle: Dosunmu is always playing hard and giving 100%. He dives on the floor at least once a game for a loose ball that no one else is willing to go for. Against Michigan State, there were two possessions within the last 5 minutes where he got on the ground before anyone else. His teammates all have good things to say about him on this end of the floor.
Engagement: Dosunmu is locked in every possession. He is a verbal leader on defense, helping out his teammates when he is off the ball. He excels at keeping his head on a swivel and making quick movements from there. He’s at his best when he’s guarding a team’s best player. He’s very intelligent when it comes to reading screening action. He does the little things to beat his man to their spot and blow up actions such as cutting up the midline on a down screen.
PNR Coverage: Dosunmu was a good PNR defender at the collegiate level. He may struggle some at the professional level just because of his size, but that is the only thing that could hinder him. He ranked in the 82nd percentile according to Synergy when guarding the ball handler in the PNR. This is a good sign considering the Big Ten has a lot of NBA size bigs and he didn’t struggle much with getting through those screens. He does a good job of not allowing players to use those screens. In 98 PNRs this year, he forced 23 of them away from the screen. If he puts on size, defending lead ball handlers could be his calling card.
On Ball Defense: He is a very quick on ball defender with solid hips. He knows how to force players toward a certain direction with his hips. He can also recover very quickly if he gets beat off the dribble. There weren’t a ton of possessions where his man took besides off PNRs and on spot up opportunities. The next 3 most covered actions by Ayo were off screens, handoffs, and isolations. All three of those only combined for 51 possessions. Players really didn’t even try to attack him.
Areas of Improvement:
Guarding Shooters: This was probably the weakest point part of his defensive profile from a PPP perspective but he passes the eye test here for sure. He does a very good job of chasing shooters off of screens. It may have been that he has gotten unlucky and players hit shots over him, but he did allow 0.83 PPP on catch and shoot situations. It may just be nitpicking, but he can improve with smothering straight up shooters.
Defending the Rim: This is a pretty obvious one, but Dosunmu won’t have any impact as a rim defender. He had a couple opportunities this year for chase down blocks and coming across from the weak side, but he just didn’t try for those blocks. It was kind of disappointing to see, almost as if he didn’t have the confidence to go for them. It was an extremely small sample size, but he did an ok job of guarding in the post. There could be a chance this translates into being able to switch in the PNR at some point.
Best Team Fits:
Brooklyn: Dinwiddie will most likely be leaving Brooklyn this off season considering he was willing to auction off his next team through GoFundMe. They will need some defensive role players in the back court for cheap over the next few years considering they’ll be paying a considerable amount of money to Kyrie, Durant, DeAndre Jordan, and most likely Jarrett Allen. Irving, Chiozza, and Harris don’t exactly scream defensive stoppers either. Dosunmu would be a solid and cheap option for this contender.
Dallas: Doncic and Hardaway are the only real perimeter creators that the Mavericks have on their roster currently. Ayo fits in as a defensive minded player who can slash to the rim on offense. Barea is creeping up in age, and his time on the roster could be over soon. The Mavericks also have a very solid developmental G League system. The Legends have cultivated some talent recently with Cameron Payne signing a deal with the Suns in the last few weeks. Ayo would be a solid option for a two way contract from Dallas.
Atlanta: The Hawks need some minutes from a backup point guard. Dosunmu can offer minutes as a combo guard. They also need some defense from their guards. All of their point guards posted negative defensive BPMs this past season. Dosunmu can bring value on this end of the floor without being much of a cap hit. He won’t need to do much on offense with the majority of that responsibility falling to Trae Young.
Dosunmu fills the archetype of a 2&D player. He offers real value as a slasher on the offensive end. He can get out and run in transition without forcing the action. His passing ability is somewhat underrated. His jumper needs work, and there will be a struggle to make him into a passable three point marksman. Ayo knows his role and sticks to it. Defensively he will be a plus player, especially if he adds some muscle to his frame. He is an intelligent defender who works well on and off the ball. Although not much of a playmaker on this end of the floor, he still provides value. Off the court, Ayo is enjoyed by his teammates. He is a high caliber locker room guy who has serious connections to his family and his faith.