As the Los Angeles Lakers have looked to fill out their roster with players on one-year contracts, they’ve also afforded opportunities to members of from South Bay, their G League affiliate. Namely Alex Caruso, who remains on a two-way contract.
Caruso appeared in seven games last season, making seven starts. He showed flashes of being a capable NBA player, but has spent the majority of the 2018-19 campaign with South Bay. However, injuries and the Lakers being out of the playoff picture have put him in their rotation.
“His competitive spirit,” Lakers head coach Luke Walton said when asked what he’s seen now that Caruso is receiving regular minutes.
“Last game, he really struggled offensively. Passes were getting deflected, things that he doesn’t normally do, he had an off offensive night. But defensively, he was everywhere, switching, flying around and getting loose balls.
“That’s what you want out of your guys that are going to play. If you’ve got something you can always hang your hat on no matter what’s going on out there, then you’re going to help your team. And he does that.”
When specifically asked if Caruso is an NBA-caliber player, Walton admitted that while it’s a small sample size, the point guard has shown promise. “Right now, the way he’s playing, I think he could definitely help teams win ballgames,” Walton said.
Caruso has found a nice rhythm when playing alongside LeBron James, which he recently credited to scoring a career-high 16 points against the Toronto Raptors.