Proposed Trade Sees Bulls Swap Alex Caruso & More for Breakout Floor General

Alex Caruso Bulls-Bucks

Getty Chicago Bulls point guard Alex Caruso reacts during a bout with the Milwaukee Bucks.

There’s no arguing against the fact that adding Patrick Beverley post-buyout as the team’s new starting point guard has kept the Chicago Bulls postseason viable. Billy Donovan’s squad is 10-7 since the veteran was tossed into the mix and seemingly destined for a spot in the East’s play-in tournament.

However, hanging around the playoff fringes is definitely not what anyone in the Windy City wants to do while Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic are all still on the roster.

If he was healthy, the club would still be Lonzo Ball‘s to run. The former No. 2 pick was the straw that stirred the drink for Chicago last season, but his career could be on the line as a result of his mysterious knee injury.

Given Ball’s status, as well as the fact that Pat Bev — for all the good vibes he has brought — isn’t a player who’s going to lead a team to a top seed, the Bulls need to identify and acquire a new floor general to lead the charge (or, at the least, a more versatile fill-in while Ball recovers).

To that end, Memphis Grizzlies guard Tyus Jones was just floated as a potential target.

Pitched Trade Would Make Tyus Jones the Chicago Bulls’ New Starting Point Guard

Tyus Jones reacts to FIRST career triple-double in HISTORIC comeback | NBA on ESPNTyus Jones speaks with Rob Fischer about his first career triple-double performance after finishing with 20 PTS, 10 REB & 10 AST as the Memphis Grizzlies came back from down 29 points in the third quarter to set a new franchise record in their 126-120 OT win over the San Antonio Spurs. (Courtesy: "Grizzlies/Bally Sports…2023-03-18T03:02:38Z

Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz just dropped his list of “surprising NBA offseason trades to start thinking about now” — a list that included the following pact between the Bulls and the Grizz:

  • Chicago Bulls receive PG Tyus Jones
  • Memphis Grizzlies receive G Alex Caruso, G Dalen Terry and a second-round pick in 2026

Wrote Swartz:

Assuming Chicago wants to keep its core of Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan and free agent Nikola Vucevic together, getting Jones in a trade would help push the Bulls back into the playoffs. With Jones playing out the final year of his contract in Chicago, the Bulls could see where Ball is physically going into the summer of 2024.

Make no mistake, Memphis had good reason to give Jones his two-year, $29 million deal over the summer. And the contract looks even better amid the Ja Morant situation, as the 26-year-old helped keep his team afloat.

During Morant’s nine-game sabbatical, Jones broke out to the tune of 16.3 points, 8.2 assists and 4.2 rebounds per contest while shooting 50.9% from the floor and an even 40.0% from deep. Nevertheless, one has to wonder if the cost outweighs the benefit of this particular pact.

Tyus Jones Proposal Removes the Bulls’ Glue Guy & Important Assets

The “final year” part of bringing Jones on board looms large here, as you’re essentially making the trade for what amounts to a limited trial run or stopgap. If you have any belief at all in Ball’s ability to return, it feels like a strange play to bring in a player like Jones at the expense of Caruso, an up-and-comer in Dalen Terry and a pick.

That’s a lot for someone who has only started 93 of possible 530 career games.

Even if you take Ball out of the equation, Caruso is one of the game’s ultimate glue guys and positive impact players; his net swing of 7.5 is the best mark on the team. And his contract might be the most team-friendly of any high-level role player in the game.

The 29-year-old will make $9.5 million next season and $9.9 in 2024-25, the latter of which is only partially guaranteed.

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