Insider Shares Ominous Update on Alex Caruso After Bulls Beat Hawks

Alex Caruso, Chicago Bulls

Getty Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks and Alex Caruso #6 of the Chicago Bulls.

The Chicago Bulls took down the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the Play-In Tournament.

It might have come at a great cost though, with Alex Caruso exiting the contest early with a foot injury that threatens his availability in the next round of the tournament.

“Chicago Bulls guard Alex Caruso has a “significant” right foot sprain and his availability vs. Miami on Friday with the 8th-seed on the line is in doubt, source tells ESPN,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on X on April 17. Andre Drummond stepped on foot vs. Hawks in Play-In victory tonight.”

Caruso finished with six points, two assists, two rebounds, and one steal in 17 minutes.

Head Coach Billy Donovan did say during the game that he was likely to hold Caruso out for the rest of the contest.

“Billy Donovan didn’t have much to add on Alex Caruso, whose right foot is sprained after Andre Drummond stepped on it,” NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson reported on X. “Caruso didn’t play final 21:43.”

Caruso averaged career-highs with 10.1 points and 3.8 rebounds this season.

He also averaged 3.5 assists and 1.7 steals while shooting 40% from beyond the arc while continuing to bolster his reputation as one of the game’s most versatile defenders.

The 30-year-old Caruso is in the third year of a four-year, $36.9 million contract, and there is rumored interest in signing him to a new deal. Part of the equation will have to be Caruso’s injury history.

Caruso has set career-high marks in back-to-back seasons, making 67 appearances in 2022-23 and then 71 this year.

He had only broken the 60-game mark once in five previous seasons.

Bulls Campaign for Alex Caruso to Repeat on All-Defensive Team

Caruso’s defense remains his calling card, with his First-Team All-Defensive honors last season reflecting as much.

The Bulls’ social media team is doing their part to ensure he gets the recognition he deserves this season too, posting a hype video for the former championship Los Angeles Laker, who has engrained himself with his teammates and the organization while becoming a fan favorite.

Caruso would be the first Bull to repeat for the honor since Jimmy Butler in 2014-15 and 2015-16. Those were the the back end of three straight first-team honors for Butler, and a continuation of six consecutive appearances by Bulls players.

Butler suffered an MCL injury in the Heat’s first-round matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers which has his status in doubt for the tilt against the Bulls, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

The Bulls went 5-6 without Caruso this season while the Heat were 13-9 without Butler.

Alex Caruso Breaks Award News to DeMar DeRozan

Caruso got an opportunity to break some good news, announcing Bulls teammate DeMar DeRozan’s Community Assist Award on the team flight.

DeRozan is familiar with this type of act.

He was also on the receiving end of a similar announcement from injured teammate Zach LaVine when the former earned All-Star status for the fifth time in his career during the 2021-22 season.

DeRozan – who had 22 points, nine assists, one block, one steal, and just one turnover versus the Hawks – is in the final year of a three-year, $81.9 million contract.

He continues to bolster his case for a new contract with the Bulls.