Posts about Alex Caruso
The Lakers infamously chose to extend Talen Horton-Tucker and let Alex Caruso walk in 2021. What are some other examples of a team choosing to retain the wrong expiring rookie?
Per that report, after the Lakers initially made an offer of three years and $21 million, the Bulls swooped in with theirs. Caruso said he came back to the Lakers, willing to take a two-year deal worth $20 million, but the Lakers stuck to their original offer.
"No dollars and cents higher than that ever came back," Caruso said. "There's no counters. It was just, I think, that was kind of all they had. And at that point, it was like, OK, I have to make an executive decision based on real life here."
So Caruso took Chicago's offer, and L.A. used the money to sign Kendrick Nunn and re-sign Talen Horton-Tucker on a three-year, $31 million deal.
[Adams] Alex Caruso: “I don’t think I realized how much the Lakers are in the media until you leave. Being in the [Lakers] facility, it’s a little hard to see, but being in Chicago this year, I could definitely tell.”
Since joining the Bulls, Caruso has been candid about his desire that summer to remain with the Lakers, even a willingness to take less money in an effort to make it work. Now, Caruso takes the high road like a man at peace with his decision but the results speak for itself.
“Maybe not I told you so, but I don’t think I realized how much the Lakers are in the media until you leave,” Caruso explained during a July 9, 2022 interview. “Being in the [Lakers] facility, it’s a little hard to see, but being in Chicago this year, I could definitely tell. It was easy to keep up with throughout the year.”
“…They had a lot of turnover, anytime in professional sports, you have a lot of turnover, you have to rebuild chemistry, you got to rebuild continuity. That’s stuff that can’t really be overlooked sometimes. I think with pro sports, you think you just put a bunch of really good players on the court it will take care of itself. Sometimes it takes a little bit of glue, a little bit of time to figure out how it’s going to work. So, I think that’s probably just what they went through this past year.”
Caruso’s four seasons with the Lakers went as well as possible, including an NBA title during the 2019-20 season. Members of this championship team are now dispersed throughout the country, but Caruso admits the players still share a special bond.
“There’s a handful of them [I stay in contact with], we’re all still obviously tapped in on social media,” Caruso said of his former Lakers teammates. “I talk to Kuz [Kyle Kuzma] a lot about golf, about basketball, about stuff just in general. We have a great relationship. KCP [Kentavious Caldwell-Pope], LeBron through social media, a bunch of those guys from Danny Green, Dwight [Howard], still tap in with them every now and then. We got a great chemistry.”
When asked how the 2021 offseason could have played out differently, Caruso again takes the high road, noting he would not “change it for anything.”
“I think it worked out great for me,” Caruso admitted. “I think I got the most money I could get. I got the best opportunity I could get. Went to the best team and organization that I think really supports me and believes in me and gives me an opportunity to play basketball the way that I play best. I don’t think I’d change it for anything.”