With injuries coming down on the Los Angeles Lakers’ first three point guard options in Lonzo Ball, Isaiah Thomas, and Brandon Ingram, Luke Walton has turned to two-way player Alex Caruso in the starting lineup.
This is a long ways away from where Caruso was last summer. An unknown player on the Lakers Summer League team, Caruso exploded onto the scene with an outstanding performance against De’Aaron Fox and the Kings, ultimately earning the Lakers’ first two-way contract.
He spent much of the season with the South Bay Lakers of the G League, but had also been the Lakers’ most reliable backup point guard option for most of the season. He’s likely to close it out as the team’s starter at the position.
Going from Summer League backup to current starter is a huge leap and humbling moment for Caruso. Yet it also makes him extremely excited for what lies ahead as he told Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times:
“To see how far I’ve come in a year has just been really special,” Caruso said. “I’m really humbled to be in this position and just really excited for the future.”
What the future holds for Caruso will be interesting. He will undoubtedly be on the Lakers’ Summer League roster once again and should have another excellent opportunity to show his continued development.
Caruso is a good defender and reliable ball-handler who has gotten more aggressive offensively as of late, no doubt a product of his time in the G League. He is also sneaky athletic, and has had a couple of highlight dunks this season already.
Most importantly, however, he is steady and reliable, which is exactly what teams want in a backup. Whether he will be able to upgrade from his current two-way to a full NBA contract remains to be seen, but it says a lot about his development that Walton trusts him with the Lakers starters.
Caruso has reason to be excited about his future as he is showing that he is an NBA player.
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