Bulls guard Ayo Dosunmu answering call to be a ‘Go-Guy’ on the glass

It was Billy Donovan’s version of posting a “Help Wanted’’ sign.

The Bulls coach entered training camp a few weeks ago, letting his roster know that offensive rebounders were needed. Players willing to throw their bodies into the fray that is the NBA paint on a nightly basis, willing to claw and scratch for that extra offensive possession.

Softness need not apply.

Ayo Dosunmu’s reaction to that? Sign me up.

Whether it’s the guard realizing minutes will be tough to come by this season or simply a certain Chicago toughness that raised the hometown kid, Dosunmu is all in on helping turn around a team that ranked 28th in the NBA in offensive rebounds per game (8.5) last season.

“Go-guys’’ is what Donovan has been calling this special unit. A term Dosunmu has embraced.

“You either have the chance to be a ‘get-back’ guy, get back on the shot, or a ‘go-guy’ and crash offensive rebounds,’’ Dosunmu said. “I just think that being a ‘go-guy’ will give us the chance to have more opportunities in offensive rebounds. I have a knack to go get the ball.’’

Denver found that out in Thursday’s double-overtime win, as the 6-foot-5 Dosunmu grabbed three of the 26 offensive rebounds on the night, leading all the guards.

No wonder Donovan was all smiles when discussing the former Morgan Park standout.

“My man Ayo, right? We talked about ‘go-guys’ going. Did he go (Thursday) or what?’’ Donovan said. “He wanted to be a ‘go-guy,’ and he went out there. I give him a lot of credit. He generated a lot of extra possessions for us.

“It’s easy to offensive rebound when teams are in rotation. When the defense is set and you get caught playing in the mid-range, generally it’s man-on-man and it’s really hard to rebound from those spots, so I give Ayo a lot of credit. He took a lot of ownership in being a guy that wanted to go to the glass. We need guys to have that kind of mentality.’’

Dosunmu was well aware of that, especially when it comes to playing time on this roster.

It’s not like executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas has exactly been knocking it out of the park with his last three draft picks.

Dosunmu was a solid get in the second round of the 2021 draft, but ’22 first-round pick Dalen Terry (18th overall) and last June’s second-round pick Julian Phillips (35th overall) will struggle to find minutes in this current rotation.

Would it help if they flashed “go-guy’’ potential? Definitely. And it’s much better than being a “no guy,’’ as in no playing time.

“I don’t like necessarily passing judgment on what will happen when the season starts because a lot of people felt that Ayo wouldn’t have gotten a lot of playing time his rookie year,’’ Donovan said of Terry and Phillips finding work in the rotation. “Then with the injuries to Alex (Caruso) and Lonzo (Ball) a huge hole opened up. I think it’s the responsibility of all of us to keep those guys working and keep them ready, help them get better.

“When a guy doesn’t really have that avenue where he’s in the rotation, the player needs to one, have a plan that’s in front of him to where he can get better, and then there needs to be a commitment by the player to try and get better. Whether that’s in practice with us, Windy City (G-League) games, all those things.’’

Or in Dosunmu’s case do the dirty work.

“I know what kind of player I am so at the end of the day I’m going to find my way on the court,’’ Dosunmu said. “Whatever it is to help the team win … just doing my part.’’

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