With starting point guard Lonzo Ball missing his second straight game due to a sprained ankle, there was an opportunity for others to step up for the Los Angeles Lakers. One player who got plenty of minutes was Alex Caruso.
Earning a two-way contract thanks to his play during Summer League, Caruso played a team-high 29 minutes as the Lakers earned their first win of the preseason, defeating the Sacramento Kings 75-69.
Caruso found himself out on the floor during crunch time as well, making plays when the team needed it most. Afterwards, head coach Luke Walton praised Caruso, calling him a calming force via Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
Luke called Alex Caruso "the calming force out there on the offensive end & getting guys to the spots that they needed to be." (on SPSN)
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) October 9, 2017
His numbers don’t necessarily stand out on the box score, but Caruso had easily his best game of the preseason on Sunday. He finished with three points, five rebounds, four assists, and two steals, providing solid defense all night as well.
Caruso consistently got the Lakers in the right positions on the floor on offense and the ball movement was much better in the half court as opposed to previous games. He is slowly proving that he could be an NBA player in the future.
With his two-way contract, Caruso will spend the majority of this season with the Lakers’ G-League affiliate, the South Bay Lakers. There, he will get plenty of time to work on the skills he needs most while being eligible for the Lakers to bring up to the main roster whenever they may need him.
Some may have believed that his summer performance was a fluke, but Caruso is proving that he could be someone to watch. He has clearly caught the eye of Walton and if he continues to develop and work hard he could eventually find himself on the Lakers permanently.