While appearing as a guest on the podcast Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective, Ramona Shelburne addressed the Lakers’ poor judgment in letting Alex Caruso go.
Recently, former Lakers point guard Alex Caruso signed a 4-year $37M deal with the Chicago Bulls.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 3, 2021
This news came as a surprise as many had predicted that the franchise would be able to retain their point guard. In his 4 seasons with the LA Lakers, Caruso averaged 5.9 PPG, 2.4 APG, and 1.0 SPG coming off the bench.
Caruso averaged 18.9 minutes per game, as he shot 42.9% from the field and 37.7% from the 3-point line. The 27-year old was one of the most effective role players on the Lakers roster.
The former Texas A&M Aggies player was a part of the 2020 Lakers championship team in the 2020 Orlando Bubble. According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, Caruso took his 4-year $37M offer from the Bulls back to the Lakers, but his team paid no heed to him.
NBA Insider at ESPN Ramona Shelburne cited tax issues as a major reason for the Lakers’ unwillingness to sing Caruso.
The LA Lakers refused to offer Alex Caruso a deal
According to Ramona, “Caruso was willing to go back for 3 years $30M. He gave them that option. The Lakers were willing to go 7 million a year.”
The real reason behind Caruso’s exit was the luxury tax issue. The Lakers, however, would go on to sign Talen Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn, and Malik Monk to complete their backcourt.
Before departing for Chicago, Caruso was quick to thank the fans at Staples Center for their love and support over the years.
Will never forget my time in LA and the #lakeshow fans.. y’all loved me before it was cool 💜💛genuine love for all of y’all
— Alex Caruso (@ACFresh21) August 3, 2021
According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, “The Lakers did a very puzzling thing today, and only time will tell if they pay a price for it in their pursuit of an 18th championship.
“When faced with the prospect of losing Alex Caruso, the 27-year-old guard whose Bird rights they carried and could thus pay whatever they wanted, they didn’t put up any free-agency fight en route to him agreeing to a four-year, $37 million deal with Chicago.”