I don’t think Ayo Dosunmu will be the only former Illinois basketball player to be an NBA mainstay next season.
At 26, former Illini winger Malcolm Hill finally got his first shot at an NBA franchise. He played for the Atlanta Hawks for three games and finished the season with the Chicago Bulls.
Hill would play 16 games for the Bulls in the 2021-22 campaign. He finished that season with 10.4 minutes per game and averaging 3.4 points and 1.8 rebounds nightly. In January, Hill was offered a two-way contract so the Bulls can keep him in the system. They then offered him another two-way deal in June this year.
While Hill is still trying to prove himself at the NBA level, he had the chance to shine during the Las Vegas Summer League over the past week. However, Hill didn’t just shine with the Bulls. He was one of the best players in the franchise.
—Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) July 16, 2022
Illinois basketball could put another regular player on the Chicago Bulls roster with Malcolm Hill.
Hill’s performance in the Las Vegas Summer League was impressive. In the five games he played, Hill would average 13.0 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.0 steals while shooting 46.5% from the field and 88.9 % from the free throw line.
The Bulls’ final summer league game saw Hill score 20 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field. He saved his best performance for last. Overall, Hill would finish with four double-digit performances and was a great all-around player at both ends of the court.
Heading into the 2022-23 campaign, it would be nice to see Ayo joined by Hill as a mainstay on the Chicago roster. I think Ayo will continue to establish his place in the team. He is an important piece of the puzzle. His starts will likely decrease, but that will be due to the Bulls being healthy. But look for Ayo to be a great player off the bench.
I’d like to see Hill come off the bench not too far behind Ayo. I guess Hill would get a few minutes every game, but most of his time on the pitch would be wasted minutes. My dream is for Hill to show he can be a solid NBA player and for the Bulls to frequently bring Ayo and Hill into the game at the same time. That would be fun to watch as an Illinois basketball fan.
One thing is certain, however. Hill has a place in the NBA, and he proved it once again with a stellar summer league performance.