The Chicago Bulls were the best team in the East at one point last season. However, their counterparts found their rhythm and got healthy at the perfect time, so the Bulls dropped to sixth in the East. Their foundation seems legitimate in terms of talent, but the chemistry has not been terrific at the very least. It's 36 games into the season and their record stands at an abysmal 16-20, with a gloomy future ahead because of a massive investment in a core of veterans.
The stars of this roster remain the same, and some of them could be tough to trade because their value and guaranteed money may not match the liking of the Bulls. That's certainly not the case for Alex Caruso, though, a player who could contribute on both ends for pretty much any team in the league.
As the February 9th trade deadline fast approaches, here are the best potential destinations for Alex Caruso.
3. Memphis Grizzlies
The No. 2 seed last season and a viable title contender this season, there seems to be one critical piece lacking for the Grizzlies on their mission of winning the franchise's first-ever NBA championship. The most glaring one is inexperience, but they could fill in that hole by adding brilliant, vocal and high-IQ player like Alex Caruso.
Alex Caruso would not diminish the development of Ja Morant or Desmond Bane, but bring a different dimension of basketball that is necessary for a championship-contending squad. He would be the third guard in the closing lineup of Memphis in the playoffs, perhaps occasionally taking the spot of Dillon Brooks. Additionally, the Grizzlies have the draft picks and the Danny Green contract to entire the Bulls with this deal.
2. Milwaukee Bucks
One team that has been on a slide over the last couple of weeks is the Milwaukee Bucks. Giannis Antetokounmpo has continued to record MVP-like numbers, but the team's performance is far from its ceiling. Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday will eventually return to their peak form, but a glaring hole that was exposed in the playoffs last year was consistent production on both wings alongside their Big 3.
Grayson Allen, Wesley Matthews and Pat Connaughton are some of the old reliables of Milwaukee, but Caruso is more consistent than all of those players. Caruso and Joe Ingles, recently recovered from a torn ACL, do not produce eye-popping numbers, but their value is magnified in the NBA playoffs. Caruso excels as an off-ball mover and screener, making him a perfect fit for a team with three ball-dominant stars.
1. Golden State Warriors
Speaking of off-ball moving and screening, no team in basketball does it like the defending champion Golden State Warriors. Their second unit has started to find its rhythm even with the lengthy absence of Stephen Curry, but they still lack the role players necessary to capture another chip. Gary Payton II's role in last year's run is the role one Alex Caruso can fill both offensively and defensively.
This era of basketball is focused on pick-and-rolls by giving the ball to stars and affording them the liberty to make plays every time down the floor, but the Warriors play a vastly different style. Not all players thrive in a read-and-react system, but Caruso is the type of smart, athletic player who would flourish under coach Steve Kerr. To cap it all off, there was even a cameraman that caught Kerr telling Alex Caruso, “I'd love to have you, man.”