According to a report, the Los Angeles Lakers declined the opportunity to re-sign Alex Caruso on a team-friendly deal.
“I think the Lakers looked at Alex Caruso and said, ‘We’re happy for you, we really appreciate everything you’ve done, we wish we could keep you, but, you know’…he was willing to go back there at three years and $30 million Brian [Windhorst],” said NBA insider Ramona Shelburne during a recent podcast appearance. “He actually gave them that option, even at the end. It’s less than what he signed for in Chicago. But even that was more than they were willing to pay. … That was as far as they were willing to go. They looked at Caruso and said, ‘We can go to $7 million a year, but above that it gets too cost-prohibitive.’”
It was previously reported that the Lakers didn’t even extend a counter to Caruso after the Chicago Bulls made their offer to the guard. He ultimately signed with Chicago on a four-year contract worth $37 million.
Caruso’s impact rarely shows up on the box score, but he is the type of player that every team should want on its side.
In the 2020-21 season, he averaged 6.4 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game while shooting 43.6 percent from the floor and 40.1 percent from beyond the arc. The 27-year-old is an elite defender, and he constantly makes hustle plays on both ends of the floor. That’s where most of his value comes from.
In the 2021-22 campaign, L.A. will be looking to win its second NBA title in a span of three seasons. The team certainly has the roster to get the job done.