Breakout Los Angeles Lakers: 2. Alex Caruso
This might sound surprising as every Laker fans already knows how good Alex Caruso is. However, I think this season is when the rest of the league really notices it and general NBA fans realize that Caruso is more than just this meme that is hyped up by social media.
Caruso is not the most gifted player offensively, which naturally makes him get overlooked by the casual NBA fans. However, he has shown promising improvements offensively with the departures in Los Angeles he should leave a bigger offensive footprint in 2020.
Caruso is an elite defensive player. Seriously. He is easily a top-10 defensive point guard in the league and you could even make the case for him being in the top-five.
According to Basketball-Index, Caruso ranked fifth (technically sixth, but they count LeBron James as a point guard) in Defensive Player Impact Plus-Minus (PIPM) among points guards with at least 1,000 minutes played last season.
He is an elite defensive player with an improving offensive game. He got more playing time in the NBA Playoffs than he did in the regular season and should get close to that playing time here in 2021.
Before you know it, the talking heads in sports television will be talking about whether or not Caruso is the best defensive role player that LeBron James has ever had. Just wait.