The biggest mistake that the Los Angeles Lakers made in the offseason was not re-signing Alex Caruso. The Lakers could have signed Caruso legally with Bird Rights and it would not have impacted the salary cap as they were already over the cap.
However, the team ultimately decided not to sign Caruso because of the implications it would have had on the luxury tax. The Lakers would have had to pay a pretty penny in tax alone for Caruso, thus the team opted not to sign him. Seems like a billion-dollar franchise can afford it, but that is neither here nor there.
Laker fans definitely miss seeing Alex Caruso every single night, especially considering the Lakers could have essentially been a better version of the Bulls, who are 19-10 this season. The Bulls are not done stealing former Lakers in Alex Caruso and Lonzo Ball, as they just stole another player from the Lakers.
The Chicago Bulls sign Mac McClung away from the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Los Angeles Lakers signed Mac McClung as an undrafted free agent following the 2022 NBA Draft and he instantly become a bit of a cult favorite among Laker fans who tuned into the G League. Austin Reaves may have taken the limelight, but McClung was showing some potential with the Lakers.
McClung even hit a game-winning shot in the G League before playing pretty decent in some preseason games as well. McClung agreed to a G League deal with the Lakers and has been thriving for the South Bay Lakers.
The level of competition is obviously lower but McClung was averaging 19.5 points, 6.2 assists and 3.6 rebounds per game this season. Those are not numbers to scoff at and indicate that McClung does have some potential.
We also know that the Lakers are one of the best teams in finding these hidden gem talents. Caruso is the best example of it, Talen Horton-Tucker is another great example of it and Reaves is the latest example of it. McClung very well could have been a future example of it when he eventually got his shot.
McClung is not locked in to be a Bull full-time, though. The NBA made it easier for teams to sign players to a 10-day contract using the hardship provision because of all the positive COVID cases that have been hitting the league. There is a decent chance that he plays his ten days and returns to the G League.
However, there is also the risk of McClung actually playing well in Chicago and the Bulls finding a way to keep him around. There definitely is some fat that can be trimmed off of the end of the 15-man roster if they really wanted to keep McClung around and develop him.
While that would be great for McClung’s career, Laker fans selfishly shouldn’t want that to happen so the Lakers don’t lose their chance to develop him.