Despite all the signings the Los Angeles Lakers made this offseason, one of the biggest losses the team suffered was guard Alex Caruso. The fan favorite agreed to a deal with the Chicago Bulls and following the news, there was a lot of conversation about whether the Lakers should have re-signed him.
The amount that Caruso signed for wasn’t an exorbitant amount and there even reports that Caruso would have signed for less guaranteed money to stay in L.A. There were also rumors that the Lakers could do a sign-and-trade to send him to Chicago, and apparently there were other possibilities that also could have seen the franchise send out another piece.
In an appearance on the Lowe Post podcast with Zach Lowe, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne revealed that there was a potential sign-and-trade deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves that would have sent not only Caruso, but also Marc Gasol to Minnesota:
[Caruso] had a couple of deals, somewhere around the mid-level. One was a team that didn’t have to do a sign-and-trade, and that was the Bulls, and that was the one he preferred anyway. But I heard the Timberwolves were in on this. It would have been a sign-and-trade, and they actually would have taken back Marc Gasol. Like that could have been salary cap relief for the Lakers, not just a trade exception. So we’ll see if they end up needing those exceptions, we’ll see if they end up needing those extra tools to build this roster out, but I think that’s really where we’re going to decide ‘was the Westbrook trade a success?’”
A deal like that would have been an extremely interesting move as it could have led to more roster turnover for the Lakers. As Shelburne noted, not only would it have given the team a trade exception that could have allowed them to deal for another player, it would have also created a little more salary-cap space that could have led them to another signing.
Gasol has been a pretty divisive player during his time with the Lakers going from disappointing starter in the eyes of many, to some being angry at his lack of minutes behind Andre Drummond. With the additions the team has made this offseason, no one is sure exactly what his role will be.
As it stands now, Gasol has said that he will be returning to the Lakers to finish out his contract, but it is clear that the front office is exploring all possibilities and that could include a deal that sees him leaving.
Lakers receive third second-round pick in expanded Westbrook deal
Even with the moves that have already been made, the Lakers are still working to improve when the opportunity presents itself. The Wizards needed to expand the Russell Westbrook trade in order to complete their sign-and-trade for Spencer Dinwiddie.
As such, in order to help expand the deal, the Lakers acquired a third second-round pick in addition to the two they were already receiving. This particular one is a 2023 second-rounder from the Chicago Bulls, as the Lakers are doing a good job in trying to build draft capital.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!