Lakers NBA Free Agency: To Keep or Not to Keep Alex Caruso?

Alex Caruso Lakers Free Agency

Getty Alex Caruso of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates his basket to take a lead over the Portland Trail Blazers.

One of the lone bright spots in an otherwise ruined season for the Los Angeles Lakers was the late emergence of Alex Caruso. Despite playing in only a limited number of games at the NBA level last season, Alex Caruso made a lasting impact on the Lakers. Throwing down one of the meanest putback dunks of the entire season, Caruso turned some heads while cementing his spot on the 2018-2019 Lakers highlight reel.

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Emerging late as a fan-favorite and scoring machine, Caruso captured the hearts of Laker fans across the world. Once cut by the Thunder and on a two-way contract with the Lakers, Caruso has spent most of his time in the G-League while with the Lakers. He looked solid in showings last year and earlier this season but gave no previous indication, at least at the NBA level, that he was capable of erupting for a 32 point double-double.


Lakers NBA Free Agency: To Keep or Not to Keep Alex Caruso?

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While the Lakers were sitting LeBron and down a number of players to injury, Caruso stepped up and provided huge minutes for the Lakers down the stretch. Showing off deceptive athleticism to pair with his good size, Caruso fits the Lakers’ up-tempo attack well. While his blistering 48% shooting from deep likely isn’t sustainable, he should remain a plus shooter even after the inevitable regression.

So should the Lakers keep re-sign Caruso in free agency? YES. Caruso shouldn’t be too expensive to bring back despite his strong showing to end the season and more than just helping to fill the gaping shooting void, he brings an infectious energy to the team. Caruso shouldn’t be overly expensive and shouldn’t drastically impact the Lakers ability to sign a max free agent, meaning the Lakers could go out and re-sign him immediately without any real negative impact.


Will the Lakers Re-Sign Alex Caruso?

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Caruso fills a major need for the Laker at shooting guard and should be a much cheaper option to retain compared to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope or Reggie Bullock. With the Lakers looking to maximize their cap flexibility, they likely won’t be looking to overspend on role players and Caruso’s existing fit with the organization make him a very reasonable target and one that the Lakers will undoubtedly try to bring back if the price is right.

One of the only scenarios that wouldn’t see the Lakers re-sign Caruso is if another team steps in and offers him an outlandish contract. A number of teams have heaps of cap flexibility and Caruso’s game looks to be a perfect complement alongside ball-dominant point guards, so expect him to have a number of suitors in the offseason. However, his fit and familiarity with the Lakers should ultimately win out as long as the offers are all in the same ballpark.

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