Lakers News: Bulls’ Alex Caruso Doesn’t Feel Him & Austin Reaves Have Similar Games Or Journeys
(Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)

The emergence of guard Austin Reaves over the last two years has felt eerily similar to Los Angeles Lakers fans as they have taken to him much like they did Alex Caruso.

Both went from being undrafted to key contributors for the Lakers, and of course, both are white.

The two will square off for the first time this season on Sunday when the Lakers host the Chicago Bulls, and then again on Wednesday back in Chicago.

Ahead of those matchups, Caruso was asked about Reaves and stated that he doesn’t see many similarities in their games or journies, via Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun Times:

“There’s not a ton in common, and that’s what’s funny about it,” Caruso said.

Both players are white. Both have played for the Lakers. But it ends there, as far as Caruso is concerned.

“He’s a guy who’s basically been in the NBA his whole career,” Caruso, 29, said of the 24-year-old Reaves. “I was a guy who wasn’t drafted, went to the G-League for a year, played in three Summer Leagues to try and get on a team, and still, even then, [was] grinding my way to get minutes and carving a role out.

Caruso wanted to be sure to say that he believes Reaves is a good player though, and he understands what the young guard is going through as a folk hero in L.A.:

“He’s a really good player, too. It’s the world we live in. We live in a world of comparisons, and that’s what it is. Plus, it’s a part of playing in L.A. I’m sure he’s in the same boat I am. He’s probably like, ‘I’m just trying to hoop and have a good career,’ and he’s getting questions like that. It’s part of the league. Something dumb like that pops up, and you just move on.”

When the two teams take the court on Sunday, it will be interesting to see if the Bulls opt to have Caruso guarding Reaves, who has really come on offensively in recent weeks.

In his last 10 games, Reaves is averaging 18.9 points, 3.8 rebounds and 6.4 assists. Caruso is one of the best defenders in the league, so that should be a fun matchup if they do indeed end up guarding each other at times.

Lakers can’t make same mistake with Reaves as they did with Caruso

When Caruso hit free agency a couple of summers ago, the Lakers chose to let him walk, prioritizing re-signing Talen Horton-Tucker and others over him.

With Reaves set to hit free agency this offseason, the Lakers cannot make the same mistake by letting him walk as well. The Lakers can offer him four years and around $50 million using bird rights, or they can use cap space to match a bigger offer sheet if he signs one with another team in restricted free agency. Regardless of how it gets done, Lakers fans want to be able to watch Reaves in purple and gold for years to come.

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