NBA free agency: Alex Caruso leaving Lakers for $37 million deal with Bulls

·Writer
·2 min read

If you follow the NBA through meme accounts, the Los Angeles Lakers are losing a franchise legend. If you follow it through more serious sources, they're losing a very important role player.

Guard Alex Caruso has agreed to a four-year, $37 million deal with the Chicago Bulls, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

The decision marks the end of a four-year tenure in Los Angeles that saw Caruso rise from undrafted free agent to fan favorite to key cog of a championship team. 

Caruso is a big loss for Lakers

He never filled up the stat sheet — he posted 6.4 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game last season — but was a huge part of the Lakers' elite defense (receiving five second-team All-Defense votes last season) and never got in the way on offense.

LeBron James was notably a big fan of Caruso's, and that showed on the court. No two-player tandem had a better net rating on the court for the Lakers than James and Caruso over each of the past two seasons (minimum 150 minutes).

Those contributions are how Caruso got paid with the Bulls. He'll join an interesting backcourt featuring All-Star Zach LaVine and new addition Lonzo Ball, with whom Caruso played during his first two seasons in the league.

As for the Lakers, the team has already made a few moves in free agency after its blockbuster trade for Russell Westbrook. It brought back wings Trevor Ariza and Wayne Ellington Jr., which should provide some much-needed spacing on offense, and reacquired center Dwight Howard, for real this time.

Losing Caruso is still a blow. We'll see how the team looks by the end of the summer.

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