Los Angeles Lakers guard Alex Caruso is heading into free agency, where he will be a coveted player on the market after another strong season.
Caruso has steadily improved since joining the Lakers and eventually became a key member of head coach Frank Vogel’s rotation. His defensive prowess is his calling card but also got to show off his ability as a lead ball-handler during the 2020-21 season due to injuries.
The guard relished those opportunities to organize the offense and believes he did well during his time starting as point guard. “I’ve had instances here and there when I was on two-way and a little bit the year before where I got to start and be the lead role,” explained Caruso. “I’ve kind of used those opportunities to lean into this year where I did it for a couple of weeks and meaningful games. Games we were trying to win. I loved it. It’s just the competitor in me. It’s just the nature of basketball.
“Any time you get to play more, it’s a good thing, especially in the NBA. It’s a great-paying job. Basketball is fun for me, so all these things mixed in. Opportunity. It’s just a really good experience and a lot of fun for me to do and obviously played well in a couple games, so that’s just the cherry on top.”
Caruso has already hinted he would like to return to the Lakers, but it would not be surprising to see a team with cap space sign him to a lucrative deal. However, Los Angeles would be wise to prioritize him in free agency given what he means to the team.
Caruso believes Lakers’ poor outside shooting was fluky
The Lakers’ season ended earlier than most expected and that can be largely attributed to the constant injuries they endured. However, in their first-round series against the Phoenix Suns, it was clear that the outside shooting was almost as much to blame for their exit. Caruso believes that the Lakers were a better shooting team than they showed.
“I’d like to say lean towards more fluky just because I think the consistent body of work we had through the regular season,” Caruso said. “I think we shot the ball at least decent. I don’t feel like we were a bad shooting team.
“We might’ve gone through bad stretches and it was unfortunate. We had open shots, open threes in the series and we just didn’t make them. Back-rim misses. In and outs. But even at the rim, shots we normally make we didn’t convert. I don’t really know what to blame it on and what to point towards, but sometimes the ball just doesn’t go in the basket.”
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!