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Chicago Bulls Declined Big Trade to Retain Veteran

Chicago Bulls forward Patrick Williams (44), guard Zach LaVine (8), center Nikola Vucevic (9), forward DeMar DeRozan (11), guard Jevon Carter (5), and guard Alex Caruso (6) during Chicago Bulls Media Day at Advocate Center.

According to Chicago Bulls beat writer Will Gottlieb, the team rejected a deal to trade Alex Caruso for a top-1o 2024 NBA Draft pick. Gottlieb noted that the Golden State Warriors were one of the teams “who made a strong offer for Caruso.”

“The Bulls took calls on Caruso, but never made them. According to a source with knowledge of the situation, the Bulls have received offers from multiple teams, consisting of multiple protected first-round picks. One of those deals included a pick in the top-10 of the 2024 Draft, the source said. The Golden State Warriors were among teams who made a strong offer for Caruso, multiple sources confirmed. Ultimately, they declined.”

During the 2023-24 season, Caruso had the best campaign of his career. The 2020 champion averaged 10.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.7 steals per game while shooting 46.8% from the field. All these numbers are career-highs for the 30-year-old. Additionally, he was selected to the All-Defensive Second Team and took home the NBA Hustle Award.

Caruso has just one year remaining on his four-year, $36.98 million contract.

Chicago Bulls Declined Big Trade to Retain Veteran

Why Alex Caruso is Heavily Desired

Caruso has developed a reputation as one of the best defenders in the league. Very few can guard one-on-one as well as he can. Furthermore, he is a pesky defender and regularly makes plays that do not show up in the stat sheet, hence his Hustle Award nod. Additionally, he is a bargain for what he brings to the table. Caruso is not an elite offensive player, but he has high basketball IQ and is an efficient shooter. A few months ago, Bulls head coach Billy Donovan called Caruso “one of the most valuable players in the NBA.

“I think Alex Caruso is one of the most valuable players in the NBA. I think you need to get a haul for him. Those players like DeMar DeRozan, like Alex Caruso just don’t grow on trees.”

In addition to what he brings on the court, it is important to remember he won a title with the Los Angeles Lakers just a few years ago. During that run, Caruso played a big role and even started in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, the Lakers’ closeout game against the Miami Heat. Championship experience remains coveted in the NBA. Pair this with Caruso’s skillset and contract, it becomes evident why many teams want the guard on their roster.

The Last Word on Alex Caruso

With Caruso just one year away from unrestricted free agency, it will be interesting to see if the Bulls can keep him around for the long run. It is clear they value his presence and consider him an important piece to the puzzle. Furthermore, with starter Lonzo Ball expected to return next season, it would be interesting to see how big of a boost he would bring to Chicago’s backcourt. Currently, nothing is imminent. Even so, it appears the Bulls have zero interest in moving on from Caruso. His status with the Bulls will be worth monitoring this offseason.


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