If the Los Angeles Lakers want to hang on to standout guard Alex Caruso, they’ll have to fend off some competition for his services.
Among the suitors for Caruso will be the Cleveland Cavaliers, per Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com.
The Cavs would be wise to search for someone to take shot-creation pressure off Garland and Sexton. Indiana Pacers feisty backup floor general TJ McConnell and Los Angeles Lakers rugged defender Alex Caruso are on Cleveland’s free agency target list, sources maintain.
Caruso is a pending unrestricted free agent and will more than likely land a significant pay raise this offseason. Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer reported Caruso could be due to land an annual salary of around $12 million annually as a free agent. Spotrac estimates that Caruso has made around $5.4 million in his three-year NBA career so far.
As Fedor mentioned, Caruso is a scrappy defensive player and earned a key role off the bench for the Lakers, averaging 6.4 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists last season in 21 minutes per game. He garnered NBA All-Defensive Team votes with the Lakers finishing with the league’s top-ranked defense.
Alex Caruso ‘Forever Grateful’ For Time With Lakers
Caruso will test the market, as he rightly should after grinding his way from an undrafted free agent and the G-League to a valuable piece on a championship-level team. But even if he leaves LA, he realizes what
“Anytime you play with those two, you have a realistic chance to win a championship. I know a lot of people around the league think they do,” Caruso told reporters at the end of the year. “But it’s a realistic, attainable goal with those two guys on your team, so that’s always in the back of your mind.
“I understand different things happen in L.A. for certain reasons. I’m forever grateful for that, and we’ll see where everything lies.”
Lakers Eyeing Various Veteran Guards
Caruso is not the only soon-to-be free agent guard the Lakers have to worry about losing, with starter Dennis Schroder also set to hit the open market.
The relationship with Schroder is a little more complicated, considering the type of payday he’s expecting. He is reportedly seeking a deal in the range of $100-120 million, per Armin Andres, Vice President of the German Basketball Federation. Schroder might be willing to take less if it’s with the Lakers, however, saying he wants to run it back next season.
“I read so many things on Instagram,” Schroder said. “At the end of the day, it’s my eighth season in the NBA and I just wanted to make my own decision — one time, to where I can decide where I want to go. Just to say ‘I want to re-sign with the Lakers’ or ‘I want to go somewhere else.’ That’s the only thing.
“The Lakers, they didn’t do nothing to me. They’re great, they got the top-two players, everybody in the locker room is great, so, like I said, I want to be here and win a championship. That’s not even a question.”