RUMOR: Lakers’ surprising response to Alex Caruso signing with Bulls
The Los Angeles Lakers were at the center of one of the biggest surprises of free agency after it was revealed that Alex Caruso was taking his talents to the Chicago Bulls on a four-year deal worth $37 million. While the general belief was that both camps were looking to extend his deal in Hollywood, it looks like this simply wasn’t the case.
Per Sam Amick of The Athletic, the Lakers didn’t put up a fight to try and retain Caruso’s services:
According to a source with knowledge of the situation, Caruso’s camp went back to the Lakers after the Bulls made their offer and were told that there would be no counter.
It is worth noting that the Lakers owned Caruso’s Bird Rights and that they had the ability to match any offer from an opposing team. Apparently, $37 million was too steep a price for them. Either that or they just did not see the 27-year-old as part of their future.
The recent arrival of Russell Westbrook in a blockbuster trade likely had a lot to do with the Lakers’ decision on Caruso. Their backcourt is pretty crowded right now and perhaps Caruso was seen as excess to requirements.
The Lakers have been extremely busy on day 1 of free agency. The Purple & Gold secured deals with three former Lakers in Dwight Howard, Trevor Ariza, and Wayne Ellington. San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills (yes, another PG) is reportedly on LA’s radar as well, although the Australian has also been linked to both the Brooklyn Nets and the Golden State Warriors.
It is abundantly clear at this point that we’re going to be looking at an entirely different Lakers squad in 2021-22.