By now, many are already familiar with the inspiring journey of Alex Caruso. He went from being undrafted to being an absolute cult figure, and now, an NBA champion.

The athletic guard out of Texas A&M was a perfect spark off the bench for the Los Angeles Lakers this past season. He played a career-best 64 games with averages of 5.5 points, 1.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.1 steals. His numbers aren’t exactly eye-popping but he gets major minutes because of his intangible contributions. He sets screens, makes the extra pass, dives for loose balls, etc. Caruso is also a terrific defender, locking down opposing guards and disrupting passing lanes with his quick hands and high basketball IQ.

The 26-year-old Caruso is a quintessential role player.

That is why many teams reportedly wanted to acquire him during this past season. Lakers assistant coach Mike Penberthy told Lakers Daily that virtually all opposing squads inquired about Caruso.

“Every time we wanted to do a trade in the offseason or before the trade deadline, every team wanted Alex Caruso. He’s known throughout the league and respected throughout the league.”

Live and breathe the NBA?

🚨 Get viral NBA graphics, memes, rumors and trending news delivered right to your inbox with the Clutch Newsletter.

But the Lakers smartly held on to the high-flying guard. Caruso became even more instrumental for the Purple and Gold in his first NBA Playoffs stint. He upped his averages to 6.5 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.1 steals in 24. 3 minutes per outing, including crunch time situations.

Since signing a two-year, $5.5 million deal with the Lakers in 2018, Caruso has been nothing but vital for the Hollywood squad. Penberthy, who was also a fan favorite during his playing days with the Lakers like Caruso, said the Bald Mamba has a lot of assets.

“I think his basketball IQ is really high. His 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 that he’s found his niche in the NBA with some championship pedigree, expect Caruso to draw even more interest from other teams.