Illinois basketball has started the season 10-5 overall, and a big reason for their success is at the hands of Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn.
Both players lead the Illini in multiple statistical categories. Ayo leads Illinois in scoring with 21.7 points per game and in assists with 4.9 assists per game. Kofi leads in both rebounds with 10.3 rebounds per game and in blocks with 1.5 blocks per game.
These two players will end up going down in the Illinois record books as two of the greats to come through Champaign. With such great play will come NBA attention.
Just a few weeks ago, both Ayo and Kofi were projected to be picked in the 2021 NBA Draft. NBADraft.net had Ayo going No. 27 in the first round to the Phoenix Suns and Kofi going No. 9 in the second round to the Memphis Grizzles. Things have changed a little bit, though.
Where are Ayo and Kofi projected to go in the 2021 NBA Draft?
It looks like Ayo is moving up the draft board, according to NBADraft.net. He has now jumped up five spots to No. 22 in the latest mock draft for 2021.
Ayo was originally going to the Suns, but he is now projected to be picked by the Houston Rockets. There was a move in Kofi’s draft stock too.
Kofi was projected to be picked with the No. 9 pick to the Grizzlies in the update a few weeks back, but he has now dropped two spots down to the No. 11 pick in the second round. This time it would be to the Atlanta Hawks.
I actually think these two teams would be perfect landing spots for the Illinois duo. Ayo heading to the Rockets would be great. They essentially just hit the reset button on their franchise, and they need a good guard who can play either the No. 1 or No. 2 guard spot.
With John Wall’s injuries, there is no certainty he will be able to perform his duties on a consistent basis. Victor Oladipo is also in Houston now, but I don’t see him sticking around too long. So, this would be a great landing spot for Ayo to develop his game.
The Hawks have a few needs, one being the No. 2 guard spot. In the NBADraft.net mock draft, they address that need in the first round by picking Taevion Kinsey out of Marshall. Another need would be a solid big man who can play the No. 5 spot. That is where Kofi comes into play.
Kofi could come in and be a good developmental piece. I see him maybe starting in the G-League and working his way up into playing time within a couple of seasons. That is a solid path for the talented big man.
Illinois finally has some action in the NBA Draft. It has been a while since we have put someone into The Association. The drought is about to be over, and I can’t wait to see both of them get picked in 2021.