Former Los Angeles Lakers Guard Alex Caruso had the perfect answer when he learned that his comments on the negotiations with his old team had exploded online: “oh s ***”. During an interview with The Athletic’s Bill Oram, Caruso admitted he was surprised when part of his conversation with ex-NBA player JJ Redick went viral when they discussed his exit from the Lakers.
“I just thought, oh s ***,” said Caruso. “I forgot that people really care.”
Caruso dismissed the notion that the Lakers wouldn’t sign him again, citing the team’s financial constraints as the main reason for his stay in Chicago. The ex-Lakers security guard tried to help his former team, with many fans angry that General Manager Rob Pelinka knocked him down on the way out of Los Angeles.
“I think the most important thing is that people try to find something negative in it,” added Caruso. “And I really think it’s more of a social media narrative from fans who might miss me. … It wasn’t like (the Lakers) didn’t want me back or I didn’t want to come back. We won a championship together. To do that again would be great. ”
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Caruso was awarded a four-year contract with the Bulls for $ 36.9 million, which earned the Guardian a salary of $ 8.6 million that season. The $ 21 million three-year deal proposed by the Lakers was nowhere near the Bulls’ offer, Oram detailed.
“But if [Caruso’s agent Greg Lawrence] Caruso informed Caruso that the Lakers would not honor the offer, and Caruso asked his agent to call back with a compromise: two years, $ 20 million, ”Oram explained. “While the Bulls’ offer was a little less than $ 10 million over four years, it was only guaranteed $ 30 million. An offer of $ 10 million a year would have been fair.
“Again the Lakers said no. Their offer stayed at $ 21 million for over three years, and the moment calcified a perception that already existed. The Lakers were reluctant to go deep into the luxury tax to keep one of their most valuable role-players. Caruso was their first call to the free agency on August 2nd, but they never deviated from their original offer. “
It was a perfect storm for Lakers fans to be mad at the start of the season. LeBron James and Anthony Davis struggle with injuries again. Russell Westbrook looked like a chunky in Los Angeles as Caruso, Kyle Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell are among the former Lakers who have enjoyed success with their new teams.
Caruso averaged 8.1 points, 3.8 assists and 3.1 rebounds in his first 13 games in Chicago. Numbers aside, Caruso was a fan favorite in Los Angeles for his instant energy from the bench. The wounds of the Lakers fans are still fresh as Caruso does his LA tour while the Bulls have back-to-back games against the two Los Angeles teams.
Caruso admitted that in a “perfect world” the Lakers could have kept up with the cops’ offer. To be clear, the Lakers could have kept up with the cops’ deal but would have had an even more ridiculous luxury tax bill. The Lakers made Caruso’s decision about his future easy, despite his love for the team.
“I’m sure if it was an even pitch and they could have offered me the same amount of money and gave me the exact same thing back and we would have ridden off into the sunset again and tried to do this thing all over again.” , noted Caruso. “But the NBA is not a perfect world.”