The Golden State Warriors are sitting at the .500 mark with the February 9 trade deadline approaching and need to shake things up.
While far from a blockbuster, a move for stingy Chicago Bulls guard Alex Caruso would inject some life into the Warriors and is something at least one insider wants to see go down.
The move for Caruso was pitched by Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated, citing the Warriors’ bench struggles and disappointing defense as reasons the team should be interested in pulling the trigger.
Giving up Wiseman is a tough look after drafting him second overall in 2020, but in Mannix’s eyes, it’s a risk worth taking.
“Internally, the Warriors know they need something,” Mannix wrote. “The bench is unreliable; its -2.2 net rating is 27th, sandwiched between the Rockets and Hornets, per NBA.com. Caruso, 28, is a versatile defender (which would upgrade a middling defense) and a reliable three-point shooter with championship experience.
“Look: Dealing Wiseman would make me queasy. But he’s three years into his NBA career and showing no signs of living up to his potential, at least not in Golden State. It’s possible, maybe even likely, he develops better in a new, less-pressure-filled environment.”
Steve Kerr is Big Fan of Alex Caruso’s Game
The Warriors have some known interest in Caruso, with coach Steve Kerr seemingly telling him earlier this season, “I’d love to have you man.”
Kerr has also publicly praised Caruso, who departed the Los Angeles Lakers for Chicago in 2021.
“Caruso’s great. I was really happy to see him go to the Eastern Conference,” Kerr said. “He’s an excellent defender on and off the ball — tough, smart. Great pickup for the Bulls.”
While Kerr is a big fan, so are the Bulls, with Caruso being dubbed “nearly untouchable” ahead of the trade deadline.
“When the Bulls have received calls inquiring about Caruso, their asking price has been so astronomical that it all but confirmed a Sun-Times report that Caruso is basically untouchable,” Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote in January. “‘He’s the culture,’ one source said.”
Caruso’s numbers won’t pop off the box score. He’s averaging 5.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists. But he ranks fifth in steals (1.71 per game) and is hitting his 3-point attempts at a 40.2% clip.
Warriors Call Wiseman’s Situation ‘Cutthroat Deal’
Wiseman is not currently part of the equation for the Warriors, appearing in just 20 games and averaging 7.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 0.7 assists in 12.9 minutes. His trade value has diminished but a team might be willing to take a risk on a former highly-touted pick who has been dealt a tough hand with injuries.
The Warriors want Wiseman to be successful but it’s becoming evident that time is running out.
“Do I want good people to succeed that I interact with every day – that do the right thing and are good people? Absolutely,” Warriors GM Bob Myers said on 95.7 The Game’s “Steiny & Guru” on February 1. “But it’s a cutthroat deal. It’s not like you can just do that.
“For James especially, unfortunately, the times that he maybe could’ve played, he was injured. That’s been tough. But the path of any young player isn’t mostly clean. There are obstacles to it.”