Chicago Bulls at NBA Summer League: Patrick Williams is done, while Ayo Dosunmu steps up | Basketball

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Patrick Williams showed enough to the Chicago Bulls after three games at NBA Summer League — and now his stint in Las Vegas is over.

He was not with the team during the 96-91 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday night.

After he finished Thursday’s game, Williams did not want to commit on whether he’d play in the Bulls’ final two games, but it was clear that he had done all he could show.

The Bulls had to like what they saw from Williams during his three exhibition games. They put the ball in his hands on offense and he responded, averaging 21 points and 9.7 rebounds for the Summer League team.

“I definitely think I achieved a lot getting the reps,” Williams said Thursday. “I still have a long way to go. For sure, turnovers these last games. The ball is in my hands more. I have to be mindful of what I do with it. I was glad to get out here and play this role, so I know what I need to get better at.”

Chicago Bulls’ Patrick Williams (44) shoots over San Antonio Spurs Nate Renfro (35) during the first half of an NBA summer league basketball game in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021. 

It doesn’t seem likely Williams will be asked to be a huge playmaker during the regular season and he almost certainly won’t be this ball dominant. But the Bulls envision a future with him and they wanted to get him reps at Summer League.

“I mean, the sky’s the limit for Pat,” guard Devon Dotson said. “I think he can be really special. All-Star one day, definitely. And just a bright spot in this league.”

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Williams, who will turn 20 later this month, has been working out in Chicago for most of the offseason, trying to add to his offensive game. He said he’s leaving Summer League with much more confidence in his game on that side of the ball compared to a year ago.

“Everybody feels confident when you get more reps,” Williams said. “Reps build confidence, it builds trust in yourself. I think this summer, I’ve put in so much work with the coaching staff … this summer being super productive for me. Huge thanks to them. We put in so many reps that coming out here I had no choice but to be aggressive, had no choice but to be confident.

Ayo steps up

With Williams absent and Devon Dotson sidelined with an ankle injury, Ayo Dosunmu had his chance to shine.

He scored 26 points Sunday on 11 of 21 shooting (1 of 5 from 3) with seven rebounds and three assists.

Bulls Spurs Basketball

Chicago Bulls’ guard Ayo Dosunmu (12) goes to the basket between San Antonio Spurs’ Nate Renfro (35) and Devin Vassell (24) during the first half of an NBA summer league basketball game in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021. 

“It felt good being able to make plays,” Dosunmu said. “I’m a playmaker. That’s what I try to instill in myself, being a two-way player. In the NBA season, especially my rookie year, there are going to be ups and downs. I just want to get better each and every game and try to learn from each game. I think as the games are progressing, I’m definitely achieving that.”

Dosunmu made some impact defensively in his first three Summer League games, but had struggled to score on offense, playing off the ball with Williams and Doston on the court.

He was happy to get to operate out of the pick-and-roll more frequently in Sunday’s game. Dosunmu credited that and the fact that he’s feeling more comfortable in each game for his best performance yet.

“I think he settled into the game and got comfortable,” said Bulls player development coordinator Henry Domercant, who coached the team in Damian Cotter’s absence. “Partially because every game he’s going to get better and better, I believe, as he gets more comfortable with our sets, the way we do things and this NBA game overall. I think all of that played a part in him having a little more success.”