The Los Angeles Lakers have a roster that’s built to win a championship this season. Due to that fact, the team is going to have a lot of key players hit free agency this offseason. Alex Caruso will certainly be one of the players they try to keep. The young guard has developed into a very important player for the team.
Though there was a time when nobody outside of die-hard Lakers fans knew who he was, he’s now a very respected player around the league. Thanks to his excellent defensive play and strong shooting, he’s going to have plenty of suitors in free agency if Los Angeles isn’t willing to pay him. According to Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report, Caruso should be on the free agency big board for the Indiana Pacers.
“Caruso is a good defender and three-point shooter (41.3 percent) who at 6’4″ can play either guard position,” wrote Swartz.
Every team in the NBA could use a player like Caruso. He’s free of ego and does all the dirty work. The Pacers have a solid young team and Caruso would definitely be a fit. However, he’s getting accustomed to playing for championship contenders. He’d probably rather hitch his wagon to a winner unless he gets offered a big contract.
The latest Los Angeles Lakers news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Lakers newsletter here!
Join Heavy on Lakers!
Caruso Wanted by ‘Every Team’
Though Caruso is somewhat unassuming and is mostly known for being a meme, he’s actually a very good player. Last year, Lakers assistant coach Mike Penberthy revealed to Lakers Daily that the guard is sought after around the NBA:
Every time we wanted to do a trade in the offseason or before the trade deadline, every team wanted Alex Caruso. He’s known throughout the league and respected throughout the league.
I think his basketball I.Q. is really high. His NBA skill set is very high. He’s an above-average athlete and he’s an excellent defender. That’s what makes him so good.
Caruso hasn’t done anything to lessen his value. He’s going to get a lot of attention in free agency. He’s an excellent piece to have on your bench. The Lakers will have competition for him this offseason.
Will Lakers Retain Caruso?
There’s no doubt that Lakers fans will hate the idea of Caruso playing for any other team. He’s become a massive fan favorite for a lot of reasons. He also plays extremely well with LeBron James. He’s a great fit with this Lakers team and it would be a shame if he went elsehwere.
Los Angeles will almost certainly do what they can to bring him back. He’s the perfect kind of player that head coach Frank Vogel wants around. The Lakers have a lot of mouths to feed on the roster so having a guy like Caruso around, who doesn’t care about stats, is very valuable.
Whether or not he returns to the team will depend on the price. The Lakers have to also try and re-sign Dennis Schroder, Talen Horton-Tucker, Andre Drummond and possibly Montrezl Harrell. Those are all important players but Caruso was the only one that had a role with the Lakers during their championship run last season. That could put up at the top of the priority list.
READ NEXT: Ex-Lakers Starter Asked to Be Let Go When LeBron James Joined Team: Report