The Los Angeles Lakers’ playoff push came to an end much earlier than anyone could have anticipated. However, one positive was that it gave an opportunity for a number of players to prove they belonged in the league and nobody took more of an advantage than Alex Caruso.
In the second season of a two-way contract, Caruso made it clear that he was deserving of a standard NBA deal. In the last six games of the 2018-19 NBA season, Caruso averaged 18.2 points, 8.0 assists, and 1.8 steals while knocking down 55% of his three-pointers.
Most notable was his performance against the Los Angeles Clippers when he dropped a career-high 32 points and 10 rebounds including 13 of the team’s final 17 points in the fourth quarter to clinch the game.
That performance put the entire basketball world on notice and now Caruso is reaping the benefits. Caruso reportedly will sign with the Lakers on a two-year, $5.5 million deal, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Deal: two years, $5.5M https://t.co/5Xxrcd5j9u
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 6, 2019
After the Lakers signed Quinn Cook to a two-year, $6 million deal and Rajon Rondo to a two-year, minimum deal, they needed a third point guard for the 2019-20 NBA season.
While it is unclear who will be the starting point guard for head coach Frank Vogel, Caruso should at least be a part of the team’s rotation heading into his third season.
Considering the circumstances of waiting for Kawhi Leonard’s decision and losing out on some steals, general manager Rob Pelinka and company have recovered nicely by splitting their $32 million in cap space for depth.
With the Lakers set to have 13 players under contract, they could use another small forward to back up LeBron James. While Andre Iguodala would be an ideal signing, the Memphis Grizzlies are trying to trade him first.
Along with Iguodala, Kyle Korver could be another option, who is widely expected to be bought out by the Phoenix Suns.