The Los Angeles Lakers could see plenty of change this upcoming offseason as they’ll have upwards of 10 free agents, headlined by Dennis Schroder, Talen Horton-Tucker and Alex Caruso. Horton-Tucker is a restricted free agent, meaning the Lakers can match any offer, but Caruso and Schroder are completely unrestricted.
Lakers fans have witnessed Caruso’s journey from Summer League standout to G League star to fan-favorite all the way to being a productive role player on a championship team, even starting in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. Now, fans will have to sit idly by while Caruso gets courted by teams in free agency. With his skill set, he’s likely to garner interest from several teams.
Reportedly, the Cleveland Cavaliers see Caruso as one of their top targets this offseason as they look to improve upon one of the NBA’s worst defenses, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com:
Any potential free agency list should start with Indiana’s T.J. McConnell and Los Angeles pest Alex Caruso. Both are Cavs targets. Both fit really well. Some prefer Caruso. He’s younger, bigger, stronger and can guard multiple spots. Others like McConnell more. Even though he doesn’t shoot many 3s, he’s more polished, capable of filling in as starter, puts pressure on the rim and was the league’s total steals leader.
T.J. McConnell and Caruso are cut from the same cloth in terms of their pesky defense, ability to get steals and high basketball I.Q. However, Caruso has a better jump shot than McConnell, potentially making him more desirable. He’s also two years younger than McConnell which may fit the timeline of a rebuilding team better.
Either way, the Cavaliers are unlikely to be Caruso’s only suitor, they may just be his strongest outside of the Lakers. L.A. is going to have some big decisions to make, but none of them will be nearly as important as Caruso.
Not only do the Lakers want him for all the same reasons the Cavaliers do, but he also has impeccable chemistry with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, something that is a prerequisite of playing for the Lakers given their roster construction.
Caruso hopeful to continue partnership with Lakers
Things can always change in the months between now and the beginning of free agency. However, Caruso and the Lakers seem to have mutual interest in a reunion. Caruso spoke about his impending free agency and what it may mean for him. “Obviously, I’m a free agent looming come August. Hopefully we can return and continue the great partnership, but that’s obviously for a later date.
“Anytime you are playing with those two you have a chance to win a championship,” Caruso explained. “A realistic chance to win a championship. I know a lot of people around the league think they do and going into the season everybody talks about what their goals are and stuff like that, but it’s a realistic, attainable goal with those two guys on your team. That’s always in the back of your mind.”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!