‘They Said No’: Alex Caruso Claims Lakers Rejected All His Proposals; Explains Fallout

Published 11/09/2021, 11:45 PM EST
Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers guard Alex Caruso and Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo celebrate after defeating the Denver Nuggets in game four of the Western Conference Finals of the 2020 NBA Playoffs. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports


The moves that an NBA franchise makes in the offseason are directly proportional to their fate in the upcoming season. And looking at the way the Los Angeles Lakers are suffering, all of their decisions are being questioned. First, they were bashed for adding Russell Westbrook, a non-shooter, to the roster. And now, they are facing criticism for letting Alex Caruso go.

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Caruso played a big role in LA’s run to the 2020 NBA championship. He fit well with the teammates, was a fan favorite, and had the skills they needed to succeed in the 2021-22 campaign as well. Yet Caruso had to leave. Why is that?

Lakers refused to negotiate with Alex Caruso

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On ‘The Old Man and the Three’, Alex Caruso was asked about why he left the Los Angeles Lakers for the Chicago Bulls. At first, he confessed that the decision he had to make as a free agent was a big one and unlike anything he had ever dealt with. Because before that, he was struggling to find his way into the league, and also gain the right contract.

“Going into it, I really didn’t know what to expect,” Caruso started off. “And I really didn’t hear much from any team including the Lakers leading up to 6 pm Central, when I was at my parents’ house. And then they called, Lakers made their offer. It wasn’t an offer I was going to accept because I was going to be able to get more money. Considerable more money from another team.”

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White Mamba gave them another chance to keep him after Bulls made an offer

Nov 8, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Patty Mills (8) fouls Chicago Bulls guard Alex Caruso (6) during the second half at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

At the time, the Chicago Bulls had just signed Lonzo Ball. So, the possibility of them picking up another hefty contract seemed a little far-fetched. However, Caruso’s agent told him that the Bulls were still interested. And when Caruso had a conversation with them, it really impressed him with the way they wanted to use him and that they understood what he brought to the table.

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But the story didn’t end here. As Caruso continued, “So, we got that offer, went back to LA, asked if they could do the same, they said no. Asked for something else that was a little less, they said no.”

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That’s how the 27-year-old decided that it was time to say his goodbyes to the Lakers. If only they had chosen to keep him over Talen Horton-Tucker, the situation with them could have been very different. They had their chance, they lost it, and now might be suffering for it.

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Yashima Bhatia

1736 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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