As unlikely as it was, Alex Caruso has become a star for the Los Angeles Lakers. Despite only averaging 5.5 points a game this season, Caruso has won over the hearts and minds of fans and his teammates. He’s even been referred to as the “GOAT” by LeBron James himself.
However, that didn’t stop the Lakers from exploring a potential move to trade him. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the team offered him to the Detroit Pistons:
Meanwhile, sources say the Lakers offered a package involving Alex Caruso and draft compensation for Derrick Rose, which was rejected as the Pistons had set a high value on the former NBA MVP. The Lakers stood pat at the deadline — and VP of basketball operations Rob Pelinka instead upgraded the roster post-deadline. The Lakers remain the No. 1 seed in the West at 47-13.
As beloved as Caruso is, Derrick Rose would’ve been an upgrade. He’s like a legit Sixth Man of the Year award candidate and would’ve significantly elevated the Lakers’ bench. Some fans would’ve been sad to see Caruso go, but he’s just not at the level that Rose. Luckily for the “Bald Mamba,” he’s unlikely to go anywhere this season.
Caruso Admits That He Was Annoyed About Being Internet Sensation
Being a fan favorite can be both a blessing and a curse. Caruso didn’t become a star because he was putting up huge numbers every night or because of an outlandish personality. He owes a lot to the fans who made a him a viral sensation. However, he actually wasn’t a fan of all the hype at first as he revealed on The Official Lakers Podcast.
“Yeah for sure. I mean there was moments — not as much in the beginning … And when I say the beginning, I mean the beginning of the season, because that’s when it really picked up and people were trying to label me as that, and like really hyped it up. I was really just excited to finally play and be a part of an NBA roster, and contribute to a team for 82 games. And all that’s going on, and obviously anybody that knows me, y’all know I’m pretty low-key, low-maintenance, like that stuff doesn’t really bother me.
“But yeah, it did get to a point to where I was just sitting back and literally anything I did, somebody would tweet about it, or somebody was reporting on it, and at a certain point I was just like, ‘this is just like borderline annoying.’ It was to the point where it’s like, let’s just focus on basketball, and we’re having so much success on the court that I would love for it to be more about that than me doing a random play in a game.”
Some players would really milk becoming a star the same way Caruso has, but he’s more concerned about playing ball. That’s probably why he’s been successful so far.
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Lakers Could Add More Pieces After Signing Dion Waiters
Since the Lakers didn’t make any moves at the trade deadline, they’ve mainly tried to strengthen their lineup through free agency. On Thursday, it was reported that the team signed Dion Waiters. While the roster is now full, Charania is reporting that the team could be interested in adding another player before the playoffs:
After reaching an agreement to sign Dion Waiters, the Lakers continue to monitor the market for a shooter, such as J.R. Smith, sources say. Smith worked out for the Lakers on Monday, according to sources. L.A. would need to release someone to create roster space for Smith.
Los Angeles has certainly done its due diligence on J.R. Smith. It wouldn’t be much of a surprise is they decided to add him, but then they’d have to cut ties with another player. Quinn Cook or Jared Dudley could be the odd men out if they sign Smith.