NBA Free Agency: Los Angeles Lakers Reportedly Did Not Show Any Fight to Retain Alex Caruso

Published 08/02/2021, 11:00 PM EDT
Apr 4, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Alex Caruso (4) moves the ball against Los Angeles Clippers guard, Rajon Rondo (4) during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports


The Los Angeles Lakers seem to have made a special bond with being the big news. First, it was with a blockbuster trade that got them 9-time All-Star, Russell Westbrook. Moreover, reports are also coming up that many renowned players are willing to sign a minimum deal just to join them!

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However, this time they made the news for a bad reason. Recently, Laker boy, Alex Caruso agreed to a 4-year $37 million contract with the Chicago Bulls. Now, looking at his impact on the team and LA, the Lakers must have put up a fight. Well, did they?

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Lakers show no fight for Alex Caruso

When matters came to the fan-favorite player, LA decided not to counter the offer from the Chicago Bulls. According to The Athletic, Caruso’s camp came back to them when the Bulls made their move. But, to everyone’s surprise, the purple and gold said that there would be no counteroffer for Caruso.

Feb 16, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jordan McLaughlin (6) drives to the basket against Los Angeles Lakers guard Alex Caruso (4) in the first half at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

This is really surprising, given that the Lakers don’t have a lot of salary room on offer, and just a few minimum slots. Having the rights to Caruso meant they could have decided to pay him whatever they want. However, they opted to let the ‘Caru-Show’ go to Chicago instead.

Moreover, Caruso is only 27 years old and is a major role player for them. He averaged 20 minutes per game. In addition, he developed into a great perimeter defender for the Lakers.

Jan 7, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan (10) hangar in the air under the basket as Los Angeles Lakers guard Alex Caruso (4) defends during the fourth quarter at Staples Center. At lest is Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) and Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0). Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Now, all that is left is to wish Caruso all the luck as he starts his new journey in the ‘Windy City’.

Why is Caruso so popular?

The ‘Bald Eagle’ became a fan favorite after his play against the Golden State Warriors. After a missed shot, Alex ran all the way from the left corner and finished a put-back dunk over Kevin Durant. No one knew that Caruso had that kind of bounce and the bench’s reaction, especially Bron skyrocketed his popularity.

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Caruso comes in with high energy and puts his heart out on the court. As a role player, he averaged 6 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 steal. However, his journey was not all that smooth. Caruso jumped from Summer league to G-league as he went undrafted.

After that, the Lakers signed him, and he impressed right away. With his high intensity and stellar defense, he was promoted to the starting lineup in 2019. Now, he is an NBA champion and is sure to be a fan favorite wherever he goes.

Feb 26, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) and guard Alex Caruso (4) celebrate in the second half against the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Do you think the Lakers made a mistake giving up on Alex Caruso? Let us know in the comments below.

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Anuj Talwalkar

292 articles

Anuj Talwalkar is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He is a student studying at NM College in Mumbai, aspiring to pursue sports management to follow his love for sports. Anuj started following the NBA last year, and he loves to combine his passion for writing with his understanding of basketball.

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