The Los Angeles Lakers have seen guard Alex Caruso go from a surprise member of the roster to a nearly irreplaceable member of the rotation.
In fact, Caruso was put into the team’s starting lineup in the pivotal Game 6 of the 2020 NBA Finals.
While some fans may believe that Caruso has only managed to find success due to his mastery of the Lakers’ system, it appears that teams all around the league respect the blossoming guard.
Lakers Daily spoke with Lakers assistant coach Mike Penberthy, who revealed that the Lakers have gotten numerous inquiries about Caruso.
“Every time we wanted to do a trade in the offseason or before the trade deadline, every team wanted Alex Caruso,” he told Lakers Daily. “He’s known throughout the league and respected throughout the league.”
Caruso may not light up the stat sheet — he averaged just 5.5 points, 1.9 assists and 1.9 rebounds per game last season — but his contributions extend beyond just the numbers.
He is a very cerebral player and understands the game at an impressive level. It’s why superstar LeBron James has effused praise on Caruso at every turn, and it’s why Penberthy felt compelled to touch on Caruso’s intellect as a player in the interview.
“I think his basketball I.Q. is really high,” he said. “His NBA skill set is very high. He’s an above-average athlete and he’s an excellent defender. That’s what makes him so good.”
Now a champion, it seems likely that Caruso will become an even more attractive commodity across the league. However, it seems just as likely that the Lakers will do whatever it takes to make sure that he remains in the purple and gold for many years to come.