Alex Caruso Sends Message on Lakers Amid Backlash: ‘Oh S***’

Lakers Rumors

Getty The Lakers were not close to matching the Bulls' offer to Alex Caruso.

Former Los Angeles Lakers guard Alex Caruso had the perfect response when he learned his comments about the negotiations with his old team blew up on the internet: “oh s***.” During an interview with The Athletic’s Bill Oram, Caruso admitted he was surprised when a portion of his talk with ex-NBA player J.J. Redick went viral as they discussed his exit from the Lakers.

“I was just like, Oh s***,” Caruso said. “I forgot people actually, like, really care about it.”

Caruso shot down the notion that the Lakers did not want to re-sign him and pointed to the team’s financial restrictions as the main reason he is in Chicago. The ex-Lakers guard tried to help out his former team with many fans enraged that general manager Rob Pelinka lowballed him on the way out of Los Angeles.

“I think the big thing is, people are trying to find a negative in it,” Caruso added. “And I really think it’s more just so like a social media narrative of fans who are maybe missing me. … It wasn’t like (the Lakers) didn’t want me back or I didn’t want to come back. We won a championship together. To do that again would be awesome.”

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Caruso Signed a 4-Year, $36.9 Million Contract With the Bulls

Caruso landed a four-year, $36.9 million contract with the Bulls, giving the guard an $8.6 million salary this season. The Lakers’ three-year, $21 million proposed deal was not even in the same vicinity as the Bulls’ offer as Oram detailed.

“But when [Caruso’s agent Greg Lawrence] informed Caruso the Lakers would not match the offer, Caruso asked his agent to call back with a compromise: two years, $20 million,” Oram explained. “While the Bulls offer was for slightly less than $10 million over four years, only $30 million was guaranteed. A $10 million per year offering would have been commensurate.

“Again, the Lakers said no. Their offer stayed at $21 million over three years, and the moment calcified a perception that already existed. Faced with going deep into the luxury tax to retain one of their most valuable role players, the Lakers balked. Caruso was their first call in free agency on Aug. 2, but they never budged from their initial offer.”

Caruso on Lakers’ Offer: ‘The NBA Is Not a Perfect World’

It has been a perfect storm for Lakers fans to be angry with the way the season has started. LeBron James and Anthony Davis have once again been battling injuries. Russell Westbrook has looked like a clunky fit in Los Angeles as Caruso, Kyle Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell are among the former Lakers that have thrived with their new teams.

Caruso is averaging 8.1 points, 3.8 assists and 3.1 rebounds through his first 13 games in Chicago. Beyond the numbers, Caruso was a fan favorite in Los Angeles for his instant energy off the bench. Lakers fans’ wounds are still fresh as Caruso does his L.A. tour as the Bulls have back-to-back games against the two Los Angeles teams.

Caruso admitted in a “perfect world” the Lakers would have been able to match the Bulls offer. To be clear, the Lakers could have matched the Bulls’ deal but would have had an even more ridiculous luxury tax bill. The Lakers made Caruso’s decision on his future an easy one despite his love for the team.

“I’m sure if it was an even playing field, and they were able to offer me the same amount of money and give me the same exact back and we would have rode off into the sunset again and tried to go do this thing again,” Caruso noted. “But the NBA is not a perfect world.”

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