This past offseason, the Bulls signed Alex Caruso to a four-year, $36.9 million contract. During an appearance on former NBA guard J.J. Redick’s “The Old Man and the Three” podcast, he opened up about his experience as a free agent.
Caruso, who spent the first four years of his NBA career with the Lakers, revealed that he didn’t really receive much interest at the start of free agency.
“I really didn’t hear much from any team — including the Lakers — leading up to [the start of free agency at] 6 p.m., and then they called, and the Lakers made their offer,” Caruso said. “It wasn’t an offer I was going to accept because I was going to be able to get considerably more money from another team. Like we just said, a guy who hasn’t had a lot of decision-making power, fought for a job, essentially 30 teams told me they didn’t think I was good enough to play in the NBA for two or three years. I need to get as much money, this is real life we’re talking about. I need financial security for me, for my people.”
The Bulls eventually offered Caruso a contract worth up to $36.9 million. Before he accepted that deal, he went back to the Lakers to see if they’d be willing to either match that deal or send him a respectable offer.
Even though he was willing to take a hometown discount, the Lakers chose not to offer Caruso a fair deal.
“Essentially we got that offer, went back to L.A., asked if they could do the same, they said ‘no.’ Asked for something else that was a little less, they said ‘no.’ So I said ‘OK, if that’s what it comes to, I’m ready to go to Chicago and start the next chapter.’ It’s been great. I think it’s been a great decision for me.”
NBA fans were a bit surprised by Caruso’s recent admission. Judging by most of their reactions on Twitter, they believe the Lakers made a mistake.
“Rob Pelinka has made some real awful decisions since they won the title,” an NBA fan tweeted.
Rob Pelinka has made some real awful decisions since they won the title https://t.co/dyGYBelV5I
— Jay (@jaycups23) November 10, 2021
“The Bulls got AC on really good deal and he’s a very valuable piece,” another fan tweeted. “The Lakers have been mediocre without him.”
The Bulls got AC on really good deal and he’s a very valuable piece. The Lakers have been mediocre without him https://t.co/IvLxtzIbdY
— Chris (@CJ12830) November 10, 2021
Of course, fans do realize the NBA is a business. The Lakers had to make some tough decisions in order to be compliant with the salary cap.
“Makes sense,” one fan said. “The reality is the Lakers didn’t see him as a player worth more than the pennies they were paying him. Sucks but this is a business. Happy for Caruso. Get your money.”
Makes sense. The reality is the Lakers didn’t see him as a player worth more than the pennies they were paying him. Sucks but this is a business. Happy for Caruso. Get your money https://t.co/GsWeQ9tNvy
— Julien (@JouL3s33) November 10, 2021
Caruso hinted that his offer from the Lakers was somewhere around the ballpark of $15 million over two years.
So far, the Bulls have to be pleased with this signing. In 10 games this season, Caruso is averaging 7.8 points, 2.6 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game.
The post NBA World Reacts To Alex Caruso’s Free Agency Admission appeared first on The Spun.