The Los Angeles Lakers’ early-season struggles could prompt them to make a trade for a former fan favorite, according to one league executive.
LA’s stunning 128-94 blowout loss to the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night dropped them to 3-5 on the year. After winning three of their first five, the Purple and Gold have now lost three consecutive games.
Sean Deveney of Heavy Sports spoke to an NBA executive who stated that the slumping Lakers could try to make a trade for old friend in Alex Caruso of the Chicago Bulls. The executive noted that plenty in the organization knew it was a bad idea from the beginning to let Caruso leave:
“The rumor around the Lakers was they regretted letting him go almost immediately after it happened. They knew that was a mistake. He’s not the same player now, but the Lakers are worried they don’t have enough of an edge. He could be someone who helps fix that…
“They wouldn’t give up a (first-round) pick but they could give up (Jalen) Hood-Schifino and another contract if they wait until December 15. Or Max Christie, he has some value. They’re not giving up a pick but they have young guys they can put up there.”
Less than a year after helping the Lakers to an NBA Championship in the Orlando Bubble, Caruso joined the Bulls in Aug. 2021 on a four-year deal worth $37 million. Through Chicago’s first nine games, the 29-year-old has averaged 7.8 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game.
Caruso’s most productive season came in 2018-19, albeit in a season where he was limited to 25 games. He averaged 9.2 points, 2.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game while shooting an impressive 48.0 percent from downtown.
The Lakers’ offense is once again being carried by LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The group could clearly use a spark, and bringing back Caruso could achieve that goal. Of course, it remains to be seen if the Bulls will actually shop Caruso, and if the Lakers will actually have interest in such a move.