Ayo Dosunmu

Central Notes: Windler, Cunningham, Lecque, Bucks, Dosunmu

Cavaliers forward Dylan Windler is eager to prove himself this season after dealing with multiple injuries to start his career, Kelsey Russo of The Athletic writes.

Windler, 25, was drafted by the team No. 26 overall in 2019. He’s appeared in just 31 games since then, all coming during the 2020/21 season. The Belmont product averaged 5.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 16.5 minutes per game in those contests.

“My knee is feeling the best it’s felt since I’ve been here, so that’s huge for me,” Windler said. “That was half the battle for me last year, fighting through that. It led to more problems, not only physically but mentally.

“I’m in a clear headspace right now. Had the best training camp I’ve had by far, so I’m ready to prove myself all over again and help this team win a lot of games.”

Here are some other notes from the Central Division:

  • The Pistons are being patient with rookie Cade Cunningham‘s development, Rod Beard of The Detroit News writes. Detroit drafted Cunningham No. 1 overall this summer, cementing the 20-year-old as its franchise cornerstone going forward.
  • The Bucks recently brought in Jalen Lecque as part of a free-agent group workout, according to Ian Begley of SNY.tv. Lecque has only appeared in nine NBA games since going undrafted in 2019. He appeared in 14 contests with the Pacers’ G League affiliate last season, averaging 14.3 points per game on 39% shooting. Milwaukee currently has 20 players under contract, the most it’s allowed to have at once.
  • Bulls rookie Ayo Dosunmu has received praise during training camp for his strong play, Sam Smith of NBA.com writes. Chicago selected him with the No. 38 pick in this year’s draft. “The scrimmages and practices have been great,” Dosunmu said as part of a larger quote. “I come out here each and every day and compete to make our team better. They’ve been using me as a point guard on the second unit and a combo guard on the second unit, someone who will go out there and make guys better, use my playmaking skills and also being tenacious on defense. Running the floor, playing the right way, trying just to carve a role out on the team.”

Bulls Sign Ayo Dosunmu, Marko Simonovic

6:53pm: Dosunmu received a guaranteed two-year, $2.48MM contract, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. That’s a minimum-salary deal, which would leave the mid-level open for Simonovic.


1:38pm: The Bulls have officially locked up a pair of second-round picks, signing guard Ayo Dosunmu and forward/center Marko Simonovic to their first NBA contracts, according to NBA.com’s transactions log.

Dosunmu, 21, played his college ball at Illinois, spending three years with the Fighting Illini before declaring for the draft following his junior season. He averaged an impressive 20.1 PPG, 6.3 RPG, and 5.3 APG on .488/.390/.783 shooting in 28 games (35.1 MPG) in 2020/21 and was selected 38th overall by the Bulls in the 2021 draft.

Simonovic, meanwhile, was the No. 44 pick in the 2020 draft, but played in Serbia for one more season before making the leap to the NBA. The 21-year-old big man, who confirmed earlier this week that he’d be signing with the Bulls, put up 15.7 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 1.7 APG, and 1.0 SPG in 25 games (31.6 MPG) for Mega Basket in the Adriatic League in 2020/21.

Terms of the two deals aren’t yet known, but the Bulls had less than $1MM of their mid-level exception left after signing Alex Caruso using most of the MLE. That means they’ll be able to give one of their rookies a three- or four-year deal, but will be limited to two years for the other (via either the bi-annual exception or the minimum salary exception).

The Bulls now have 12 players on under contract, with Lauri Markkanen‘s restricted free agency still to be resolved.

Central Notes: Pistons, Bucks, Dosunmu, Mobley

The Pistons have a logjam and will need to make some moves to create roster space, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. They’re already at the 15-player limit for standard contracts and a decision on restricted free agent Hamidou Diallo is still looming. They also have only one two-way contract slot available and have yet to sign second-round draft picks Luka Garza and Balsa Koprivica.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • The Bucks gave up two second-round picks in the Grayson Allen deal with the Grizzlies. The picks they’re giving up are owed to Milwaukee from previous deals, Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian tweets. The first of those picks will either the Pacers’ pick or the less favorable of Cavaliers’ or Jazz’s pick in 2024. The second will be conveyed in 2026, the highest of either the Pacers’ or Heat’s pick.
  • Bulls second-rounder Ayo Dosunmu is off to a rough shooting start in the summer league, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times notes. He’s shooting 7-for-24 (29%) from the field through three games. “The advice I got was go out there and play hard,’’ said Dosunmu, the 38th overall selection. “Just try to learn something new each game. That’s the best way you’re going to get better.”
  • The No. 3 overall pick, Evan Mobley, is showing the Cavaliers in summer league play how he can impact their offense in a number of ways, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes. His passing ability, in particular, can diversify their attack. “He’s going to be an extremely integral piece for us throughout the season and his willingness to share the ball and then also be able to get his own shot when he wants it is extremely important,” Cavaliers summer league coach J.J. Outlaw said. “But as you can see his teammates trusted that he would deliver the ball on time, on target when they would cut and they just kept cutting.”

Bulls Notes: Caruso, Dosunmu, Simonovic, Valentine, Williams, DeRozan

Alex Caruso‘s four-year, $37MM contract has a $3MM guarantee in the fourth season, ESPN’s Bobby Marks reveals in an Instagram video. The Bulls used up $8.6MM of their $9.536MM mid-level exeption for Caruso’s first-year salary, giving them just enough room to sign No. 38 overall pick Ayo Dosunmu, Marks adds.

We have more on the Bulls:

  • Second-round pick Marko Simonovic had an impressive summer league debut, contributing 13 points and five rebounds in 15 minutes against New Orleans, Sam Smith of the team’s website writes. “This is everything new for me,” said Simonovic, a 6’11” power forward. “I’m coming from Europe and everything is different. But I feel really good and people tell me I look good. I think next season I can help the team.”
  • The Bulls have renounced their rights to Denzel Valentine and Cristiano Felicio, according to the RealGM transactions log. While that doesn’t rule out the possibility of re-signing those players, Chicago needed to renounce the rights to them and seven other players to complete all its off-season moves. Felicio signed with a club in Germany earlier this week.
  • Patrick Williams believes he can learn plenty from DeMar DeRozan, Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago writes. “He’s a really good wing in this league. Mostly, I want to be at the level that he’s at,” Williams said. “When he gets here, I’ll definitely ask him some questions about how he plays in the mid-post and kind of what he sees after an important possession. I’m definitely excited to learn from not only him but everyone else as well.” DeRozan was officially acquired on Wednesday.
  • In turn, DeRozan is impressed with the talent level on the roster, Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic writes. “Great organization. The history behind it is definitely amazing. But for sure, the talent,” he said. “Looking at players like Zach (LaVine), I’ve been a fan of Zach since he’s been in the league. Just looking at the overall squad. Seeing (Nikola) Vučević there, that was my teammate in college. So, it’s been great.”

Jazz Considered Likely To Re-Sign Mike Conley

Free agent point guard Mike Conley is likely to return to the Jazz, according to Tony Jones of The Athletic, though Jones cautions that the price tag “won’t be cheap.”

The report comes on the heels of a pair of similar stories from Tuesday. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst wrote that league executives believe Conley is most likely to remain in Utah, while Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report said there’s a “strong belief” around the league that the Jazz will be able to shed some salary and make Conley a substantial offer.

The Mavericks have been cited repeatedly as one team expected to show interest in Conley, but their focus is said to be more on Kyle Lowry, which perhaps reflects their belief that Lowry will be more attainable.

As we outlined in our preview of Utah’s offseason, the team is already on the hook for nearly $130MM in guaranteed salary for nine players. Even if Conley is willing to take a pay cut after earning $34.5MM last season, a reasonable deal for him (perhaps in the neighborhood of $20MM+ per year) would push the Jazz way into luxury tax territory.

Virtually all of Utah’s biggest contracts belong to productive rotation players, so if the club wants to trim salary, it may come at the cost of a regular contributor. The Jazz have reportedly explored trades involving Bojan Bogdanovic, Joe Ingles, and Derrick Favors.

Multiple reports have suggested the team could end up attaching this year’s No. 30 pick to Favors in a cost-cutting deal. Since Favors’ contract (two years, $20MM) isn’t especially unwieldy, it’s possible Utah could get a less expensive rotation player back in such a deal, though that’s just my speculation.

Here are a few more notes on the Jazz:

  • Sources tell Jones that the Jazz remain high on second-year shooting guard Elijah Hughes and believe he could play his way into the team’s 2021/22 rotation. The team likes what he brings to the table offensively and will be looking for him to show defensive improvement in Summer League play, per Jones.
  • Miles McBride, Ayo Dosunmu, and Nah’Shon Hyland are among the guards the Jazz like as possible targets if they keep the No. 30 pick, says Jones.
  • If Utah trades the No. 30 pick and remains in the draft, moving up is unlikely, but a move down is a possibility, according to Jones, who says there are multiple players the team likes in the second round. One potential second-round target would be Iowa’s Joe Wieskamp, Jones adds.

Draft Rumors: Spurs, Pacers, Knicks, Nets, Duarte, Warriors, More

Reports in recent weeks identified the Nos. 9 and 10 picks in the draft as two of the most available lottery picks. New Orleans agreed on Monday to move the 10th pick to Memphis, while the Kings‘ pick at No. 9 continues to be viewed as available, writes Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.

In addition to Sacramento’s pick, the Spurs‘ (No. 12) and Pacers‘ (No. 13) selections are among the lottery choices that could be had, according to Fischer, who suggests that both teams are viewed as candidates to move back into the mid-teens or early 20s if the price is right.

As for which teams picking later in the first round might be looking to move up, Fischer says the Knicks (Nos. 19 and 21), Rockets (Nos. 23 and 24), and Nets (No. 27) fit that bill. Brooklyn has been willing to discuss shooting guard Landry Shamet in trade talks, Fischer adds.

Here are a few more draft-related rumors and notes:

  • Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report is the latest reporter to indicate that Chris Duarte is unlikely to fall past the No. 15 pick on Thursday. The Lakers are among the teams that have shown interest in Duarte and have looked into possibly moving up in the draft, Wasserman notes.
  • James Bouknight, Duarte, Trey Murphy, and Jonathan Kuminga are among the prospects the Warriors are eyeing, says Wasserman. While Kuminga isn’t necessarily NBA-ready, there’s support for him within Golden State’s front office from those who consider his upside too significant to pass up, Wasserman adds.
  • The Warriors turned down a Knicks offer of the Nos. 19 and 21 picks for the No. 14 selection, per Wasserman.
  • Some teams outside the top 10 believe Michigan forward Franz Wagner has assurances he’ll be selected in the top 10, according to Wasserman. The Kings at No. 9 are considered a strong candidate for Wagner if they keep their pick.
  • Both Wasserman and Matt Babcock of BasketballNews.com continue to suggest the Raptors aren’t a lock to draft Jalen Suggs at No. 4, since the team has done “extensive homework” on Scottie Barnes.
  • Alabama’s Joshua Primo and Illinois’ Ayo Dosunmu are two of the prospects Wasserman has heard linked to the Nuggets at No. 26.
  • Alperen Sengun has a good chance of being a lottery pick, according to Babcock, who says the Turkish big man could be picked as high as No. 8 by the Magic.

Atlantic Notes: Barnes, Raptors Picks, Mann, Jackson, MacLeay

Projected lottery pick Scottie Barnes worked out for the Raptors on Tuesday, Jonathan Givony and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports. Toronto holds the No. 4 pick and Florida State’s Barnes is the top-rated small forward on ESPN’s Best Available list, though he’s ranked No. 6 overall.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Raptors have back-to-back second-round picks at No. 46 and No. 47 and Blake Murphy of The Athletic takes a look at a dozen prospects the front office might consider at those spots. Georgia Tech’s Moses Wright and Michigan’s Isaiah Livers are among the players profiled.
  • Tre Mann, Charles Bassey, Ayo Dosunmu and Isaiah Jackson worked out for the Knicks on Tuesday, Ian Begley of SNY.TV reports. New York has picks at No. 19, 21 and 32. Kentucky forward Jackson (No. 19 on ESPN’s list) and Florida guard Mann (No. 22) are the highest-rated prospects among that group.
  • The Celtics have hired DJ MacLeay away from the Sixers as a player enhancement coach, Clevis Murray reports (via Twitter). He’s been Philadelphia’s video coordinator the last three seasons.

Northwest Notes: Jazz, Grimes, OKC, Moody, Wolves, Nuggets

The Jazz are hosting a pre-draft workout on Thursday that will includes Houston’s Quentin Grimes, Providence’s David Duke, and San Diego State’s Matt Mitchell, sources tell Tony Jones of The Athletic.

Jones categorizes it as an important session for the Jazz, who like Grimes as a potential target at No. 30 and want to get a closer look at Mitchell, who has worked out for more than 10 teams and is considered a draft riser.

Sources tell Jones that other prospects the Jazz are eyeing as possibilities at No. 30 include Nah’Shon Hyland, Ayo Dosunmu, Miles McBride, Herb Jones, Joel Ayayi from Gonzaga, Joshua Primo, and Jared Butler.

  • Arkansas wing Moses Moody visited the Thunder in Oklahoma City earlier this week, as Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee tweets. Moody is the 16th-ranked prospect on ESPN’s big board, so he could play be in play for OKC at No. 16 or 18 next Thursday.
  • Now that Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore have formally been approved as minority stakeholders in the Timberwolves, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic examines the challenges facing A-Rod and Lore, who will assume majority control of the franchise by 2023. As Krawczynski observes, there are similarities between the Wolves’ current situation and the one that Marc Lasry, Wes Edens and Jamie Dinan inherited in 2014 when they bought the Bucks, though it’s probably unrealistic to expect the next seven years in Minnesota to play out like the last seven in Milwaukee.
  • The Nuggets put forth a “full, all-hands-on-deck organizational effort” to ensure longtime assistant Wes Unseld Jr. got a head coaching job, Denver’s president of basketball operations Tim Connelly told Fred Katz of The Athletic. Connelly said he informed the Wizards that Unseld “is one of the brightest minds I’ve ever been around.”
  • South Carolina wing A.J. Lawson worked out today for the Nuggets, according to Adam Zagoria of Forbes (Twitter link).

Pacific Notes: Booker, Ayton, Lakers, Draft

After falling 123-119 to the Bucks, the Suns find themselves on the brink of losing the 2021 NBA Finals. They have their sights squarely set on a must-win Game 6 on Tuesday. Mark Medina of USA Today opines that the club may be relying too much on the production of 24-year-old All-Star shooting guard Devin Booker.

“We know what Book can do with the ball, but the one thing we talked about was getting to the paint, finding guys on the back side,” Suns head coach Monty Williams said of the ball sticking with Booker. “We feel like that’s a formula.”

Medina contends that the Suns suffered due to their dependence on Booker to bail out possessions with isolation scoring.

There’s more out of the Pacific Division:

  • Suns center Deandre Ayton – who has thrived during a breakout postseason, his first playoff appearance – welcomes the challenge of a must-win Game 6, writes Mark Medina of USA Today. “I like it. It’s fun; the tables are turned now,” Ayton said. “Now we’re the desperate team. We had our chances of being up and trying to finish the job, now we’re in the same position that they were in. They’re up, and now we got to go get it. That’s why it’s a little bit more fun.” The top pick in the 2018 draft, Ayton is eligible for a contract extension during the 2021 offseason. His recent play should earn him a maximum-salary offer or something close to it.
  • The Lakers, who own the No. 22 pick in the upcoming 2021 draft, hosted 6’5″ Illinois guard Ayo Dosunmu and 6’4″ Tennessee guard Jaden Springer during their latest pre-draft workouts Saturday, per Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. Both guards are good shooters who could help space the floor for L.A.
  • The Lakers need to land a win-now type of player in the 2021 draft with their No. 22 selection, opines Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register. Goon notes that the Lakers front office, under the stewardship of Rob Pelinka, last retained a first-round pick through the draft in 2018, when the club selected center Moritz Wagner out of Michigan — however, Wagner did not last long in L.A., having been sent to Washington in the Anthony Davis blockbuster. The team appears determined to add shooting this offseason — Los Angeles has examined versatile guard prospects and stretch forwards thus far.

Pacific Notes: Oubre, Kings Workouts, Lakers Workouts, Suns Arena

Warriors free agent wing Kelly Oubre sat down with Stadium’s Shams Charania for an interview on Wednesday to discuss his up-and-down season with in Golden State, as well as his free agency plans.

This season obviously wasn’t my best showing, but at the end of the day, I know what I’m capable of and I think the whole world knows what I’m capable of,” Oubre said.

Oubre, who has never lacked confidence, spoke on why he feels he stands apart from other free agents in this year’s class: “I’m a worker. I wouldn’t always get better and you wouldn’t be able to see improvements in my game somewhere each and every year if I wasn’t working continuously and staying locked in and focused on my craft. I think that puts me at an advantage over a lot of other free agents.

An unrestricted free agent, the 25-year-old will try to find a permanent home after bouncing around from the Wizards to the Sunsto the Warriors over the last few seasons.

We have more from around the Pacific Division: