One name that has been popping up on the trade block prior to the NBA trade deadline is none other than Alex Caruso. Ironically enough, Caruso is exactly the kind of player that the Los Angeles Lakers would love to add if they could via trade.
Caruso is one of the best perimeter defenders in the entire sport and has worked on his craft to be an offensive threat as well. Caruso's two-way skill set makes him very sought after for contending teams as he plays a winning brand of basketball.
Letting Caruso walk in the 2021 offseason remains one of the silliest things that the Los Angeles Lakers have ever done. Caruso was willing to take less money to stay with the Lakers and they could have signed him, they just didn't want to pay more money against the luxury tax.
It was an unpopular move at the time and while Austin Reaves' emergence helped soften that blow, it still broke fans' hearts. Even worse, Caruso continues to break fans' hearts as he confirmed to Fox Sports' Melissa Rohlin that he still thinks about what could have been in LA.
The Los Angeles Lakers might be title favorites with Alex Caruso
One player really can make a huge difference and if Alex Caruso was on this Lakers team then they would be much better than one game over .500 and would be in a spot to contend for the NBA Championship this season.
Worst of all, the Lakers could have had Caruso on the roster all along and all of the other pieces still would have fit into place. If LA just re-signed Caruso he would still be under contract and it is not like he would have stopped anyone else from signing. If anything, it would have kept Talen Horton-Tucker from re-signing but that was a nonfactor.
THT was traded for Patrick Beverley, who was then traded for Mo Bamba, who is now with Beverley in Philly. There are zero traces of THT on this current Lakers roster, whereas Caruso could have still been on the team to play alongside Austin Reaves.
Signing Caruso to such a cheap deal is the one great thing this Bulls front office has done so it appears unlikely that they will move on from him. That is a real shame, too, as the Lakers may not even have the chance to right their wrong and bring Caruso back to where he is beloved.
Now we know that fans are not the only ones who have wondered what could have been with Caruso, as Caruso himself has also wondered the same thing.