Report: Lakers were indeed interested in bringing back Alex Caruso despite previous reports

Robert Marvi
2 Min Read

Earlier this month, Alex Caruso, who was a key reserve guard for the Los Angeles Lakers and a fan favorite, left to join the Chicago Bulls.

According to reports, the team didn’t try to keep him in the fold once he received an offer from Chicago, but those rumors may not be true.

“In the wake of my report about the Lakers not countering Alex Caruso’s four-year, $37 million offer from Chicago in free agency, a source with knowledge of the negotiations strongly refuted the inference that he wasn’t wanted back,” wrote Sam Amick of The Athletic. “That doesn’t change the fact that Caruso’s side claimed to be confused about the communication element of the negotiation, but it seems the Lakers’ calculus was similar to the one Milwaukee faced with P.J. Tucker.”

Caruso was one of the Lakers’ best perimeter defenders, and this past season, he also became one of the team’s best 3-point shooters, at least in terms of accuracy.

After trading for superstar guard Russell Westbrook, the Lakers were seriously constrained under the NBA’s salary cap and were facing a huge luxury tax hit. The team apparently felt that it needed to save costs, which reportedly led to it letting Caruso go.

L.A. subsequently re-signed up-and-coming guard Talen Horton-Tucker, who was a restricted free agent, while adding other free agents such as Carmelo Anthony, Malik Monk and Kendrick Nunn.

Caruso will be able to provide a young Bulls team with veteran leadership and the experience he gained playing for a Lakers team that won the 2020 NBA championship.

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Robert is a native of Santa Monica, Calif., and a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has been an avid NBA fan since he was a little kid in the mid '90s and fell in love with the Nick Van Exel-led Lakers teams. He truly cherishes the Kobe Bryant-era of Lakers basketball and the five world championships that came with it, and is looking forward to the team's next NBA title.