One of the most beloved and longest-tenured players for the Los Angeles Lakers could soon be headed elsewhere in NBA free agency. Alex Caruso may have played his last game in Purple and Gold, as he’s expected to speak with several teams starting today.
According to Jovan Buha and Bill Oram of The Athletic, the expectation is Caruso will be courted by several teams once able to start taking calls later today as a free agent:
The Lakers should and will try to retain Caruso and Horton-Tucker, but that will depend on how deep they are willing to go into the luxury tax. Caruso knocked down 40.1 percent of his 3s last season. He is expected to meet with several teams when free agency begins Monday afternoon, a league source told The Athletic, with a belief that he will have multiple options at the full midlevel exception of $9.5 million. The Lakers presumably would be willing to go into the low double-digits to retain Caruso. He is a known commodity, albeit one with a clear ceiling.
As crazy as it may sound, Caruso would be the longest-tenured Lakers player if he returns to Los Angeles with a new deal. LeBron James would obviously be the next line, but with Kyle Kuzma now headed to the Washington Wizards as a result of the Russell Westbrook trade, that distinction goes to Caruso.
Although Caruso’s stats over his four years with the Lakers won’t blow anyone away, the Texas A&M product has been a solid player for Los Angeles. He’s been as consistent as they come in terms of effort on both ends of the floor and has received high praise from the coaching staff and James for his play frequently.
In his four seasons in Los Angeles, Caruso averaged 5.9 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game while shooting 42.9 percent from the floor and 37.7 percent from beyond the arc.
Victor Oladipo could be an option for Lakers
The Lakers are pulling out all the stops to have a legitimate shot at contending once again next season and may have improved their chances with the acquisition of Russell Westbrook.
However, the rest of the roster needs to be filled out with reliable veterans, with Victor Oladipo being a viable option for Los Angeles.