With the Los Angeles Lakers bounced early from the playoffs, there will be several tough decisions the front office will have to make this summer.
Alex Caruso entrenched himself as a key cog in head coach Frank Vogel’s rotation but the guard will be a free agent who should have several suitors. Caruso’s defense is his main selling point, but he also improved as a shooter and playmaker during the 2020-21 season.
Per custom, the Lakers held their annual exit interviews with players on Friday, and Caruso divulged some of the topics they discussed and expressed his desire to return. “Talked about some progress that I’ve made. An unfortunate season that we had. At least the ending that we had. Battling through some adversity through the year. Asking me different things about what I want to try and get better at.
“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.”
Caruso will be highly-coveted but even he does not know what exactly he is going to prioritize when teams come calling. “Nah, I don’t really think I can make a list and power rank stuff right now,” Caruso said.
“I was planning on getting on a plane and flying to Phoenix today, so there’s a lot of things I will sit down and think about and plan out, including what my offseason looks like as far as working out and real-world goals that are things I finally have a chance to do now that I have a real offseason being a pro and I’m not scrapping for a job wondering if I’m going to play.
One major thing working in the Lakers’ favor is the superstar tandem of LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Caruso emphasized that winning a championship is possible when the pair is on your team.
“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.”
The guard has turned heads around the league for his development as a player and will not be surprising to see him earn a new deal at around the mid-level exception. Hopefully that kind of money is coming from the Purple and Gold.
Alex Caruso admits off-court opportunities in Los Angeles could play part in his free agent decision
Playing on the Lakers comes with several perks both on and off the court and it’s no secret Caruso is a favorite among the fanbase. He acknowledged that those factors could play a part in his free agency decision as well.
“I’m a realistic human being. I understand certain things happen in L.A. for certain reasons,” Caruso said. “I’m forever grateful for that and hopefully, we’ll see where everything lies, but like I said, I got to rank stuff and that’s obviously not something I’ve thought about in-depth 12 hours after the season ended. I’ll look more into that in July, but those are definitely things that L.A. takes into consideration. Maybe more so than other places.”
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