After Alex Caruso shared some details on his free agency during a recent appearance on J.J. Redick’s podcast, Bill Oram of The Athletic touched base with the Bulls guard to discuss the subject further, providing some additional specifics on Caruso’s options and what the Lakers were willing to offer him.
As Oram writes, the Bulls and Timberwolves were among the teams that topped the Lakers’ initial offer of $7MM per year. After he received a four-year, $37MM proposal from Chicago, Caruso went back to Los Angeles to see if the team would do $20MM for two years. However, the Lakers were unwilling to increase their offer from $21MM over three years, prompting the veteran guard to choose the Bulls.
Here’s more on the Lakers:
- In his first game since signing a three-year, $30MM+ deal and undergoing thumb surgery, Lakers guard Talen Horton-Tucker was terrific on Sunday vs. San Antonio, scoring 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting in 27 minutes as a starter. While head coach Frank Vogel wouldn’t commit to Horton-Tucker remaining in the starting lineup, he said the 20-year-old will be a “big part” of what the Lakers do. “We invested in him this summer for a reason,” Vogel said, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “We have a strong belief in that young man and what he can do on both sides of the ball. Obviously when we get whole, we got a lot of good choices, but he’s going to be a big part of it.”
- Vogel said on Sunday that LeBron James (abdominal strain) has yet to participate in contact drills or a full practice yet, but a source tells McMenamin that the star forward is “progressing great” and should be back in the lineup soon.
- Offseason additions Kent Bazemore and DeAndre Jordan appear to have fallen out of the Lakers’ rotation at least temporarily, according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, who notes that both players were DNP-CDs on Sunday. Jordan had started 10 games at center before sitting the last two, while Bazemore had started all 13 games for Los Angeles until he was benched on Sunday.
- The changes to the starting five reflect the Lakers’ preference for smaller lineups for the time being, per Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register, who adds that Vogel left the door open for a return to bigger lineups as the season progresses. Anthony Davis started at center alongside power forward Carmelo Anthony on Sunday.
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23 thoughts on “Lakers Notes: Caruso, THT, LeBron, Bazemore, Jordan”
I’ll take 4 year $37m over 2 year $20
I project the Lakers to play 5 consecutive lottery games from 2024 to 2028
Lakers have 2 years left – 2022 and 2023
After LaBron left, Cavs played Lottery
West is tougher
I agree. I think this team is about to have a fall off similar to the Brooklyn Nets when they went all in with the Celtics trade.
I’d disagree, unless Davis requests out.
I mean, they can buy out Russ next season, I believe that’s the last year of his deal. In terms of LeBron, I mean it doesn’t look good at the moment, but I wouldn’t count him out yet. But if he really falls off, I wonder if he just hangs it up? If that’s the case then you have a pretty open cap sheet and a top 10 player in Davis (and you’re LA). Not unrealistic to think they could attract another star to play with Davis and be right back in the mix post-LeBron.
Agree with buttholesurfer69, idk about their own first round picks, i think a lot of them were traded in the A. Davis deal, but a top 7-8# player and a ton of cap space, being LA is a good scenario.
Lebron doesn’t want to retire until he plays with his son. I think it’s fair to assume he will play out his whole contract. I think his contract will be a burden in a few years.
Indeed, the NBA wants a Griffey meme for good publicity.
Even if LeBron retires and they buy out Westbrook giving them plenty of cap room to sign a top free agent to pair with AD, it won’t really matter because the Lakers traded away practically all of their young depth to Washington.
young depth to Washington? wtf… Kuzma was the only “young” piece, and he has reached his ceiling.
THT and resigning Monk is a better and younger path.
Of course they wouldn’t be contenders, but they wouldn’t be at the bottom of the west. (Considering AD remains at this lvl an healtyh (huge if) and they add one all-star lvl player in FA).
They were all young compared to most of the geriatric players the Lakers have added this year. Guys like Melo, Ariza, Howard, etc. are only around for this season before their window of opportunity closes over the next year or two.
Argument was will they be terrible? – they could still build a decent team around Davis + [insert star] even on minimum-ish guys. They might not be winning rings, but they’ll at least be playoff-bound
Going with DeAndre in the starting lineup didn’t work, now they are forced to start AD at center. Howard and Jordan were supposed to soak up minutes at the five allowing Davis to play more PF, but that plan failed because of Westbrook creating spacing issues.
While i agree with some of this, i think DJ can’t play anymore, period. Even without Westbrick, he can’t play at all. Hopefully Vogel learned this with their first 10 games of experience.
Still im really concern with Westbrook, his defense is even worse than years past, the TO thing is looking worst than ever (5.5 TO per36 min). And while everyone was talking about his fit with LBJ, the truth is he is a disaster by himself, its not a fit problem.
First 7 games, Westbrook had 36 turnovers. Last 7 games he’s had 40 turnovers. His defense is abysmal.. so much so that he sags off on defense to allow shooter to have space just so when they shoot, he immediately positions himself in paint to get the rebound. Sacrificing defense for rebounds. Don’t know what lakers were thinking getting Westbrook. All the Westbrook fans just look at his stats but don’t look at the total picture.. he makes bad decisions and doesn’t play defense. Trying to play hero ball instead of team ball
His decision making is terrible, he never was a smart player at all, probably the worst MVP ever IMO.
He thinks that playing “hard” is the right way, it seems that he doesn’t know that attacking the boards can disrupt your own team defense. Everytime he goes hard on the offensive glass, for unlikely rebounds, he is blowing up the transition defense….
Don’t think it’s spacing issues. Russ has always played with a centre that can’t shoot in Steven Adams.
As for DJ, he averages 14 minutes 5 points, 6 rebounds and a block shooting 78% from the floor. That’s not bad reading for a guy that’s 33.
The whole issue is Russ alone. He averages 19-9-8 with 5 turnovers, not good from 3, terrible from the FT line and not huge efficient from the field.
Come January I wouldn’t be surprised to see a trade.
Eric Bledsloe, Marcus Morris and Keon Johnson for Russ and DJ.
Clippers form a big three and Russ who fills the stat sheet makes up for Kawhi always resting. Russ has also played with PG and Ibaka. DJ returns back to the clippers aswell for depth.
Lakers get back Morris who fills the 4 spot with some defence and ability to floor space. Bledsoe replaces Russ while bringing a similar skill set can play less minutes.
Clippers then play Russ PG Kawhi Ibaka Zubac with Jackson/Mann Kennard Batum Harteinstein and DJ. That’s a good 11 man depth chart.
Lakers play Bledsloe Bradley LeBron Morris AD with Nunn THT Ariza Melo Howard plus Bazemore, Rondo and Monk. Loads of different options and versatility.
Jordan actually has the 2nd best defensive rating behind Dwight Howard. His job is to rim roll, dunk, rebound and block shots in limited minutes.
RW is untradeable, he is worst than Jhon Wall right now. If LBJ returns in good shape, and the roster remains healthy i still belive they can make the finals. Even with RW being almost a dead weight
Russ is a big issue, but Davis deserves some blame. And some of it is just losing the really good role players they gave up for Russ (who now happen to play on the 9-3 Wizards).
For as much as Harrell, Kuzma, and KCP were maligned at times, they were legitimate NBA rotation guys who could play their roles. The roster as is is very 2K, which doesn’t matter as much if you have peak LeBron and AD. But without those two at full steam the warts are showing.
The RW trade was a gamble, and is not that those pieces were big. I mean… yes KCP was a big part of the championship team, but overall ill take Malik Monk, more minutes of THT, Ellington and Dunn over Kuzma-Harrell-KCP anyday.
But it does matter because they don’t have peak LeBron in LA. He has gone downhill ever since he joined the Lakers. Not so much in his performance but his health, which has become a huge problem. The only season he stayed healthy there was in 2020 when the stoppage gave both him and AD a long break before the Orlando bubble. That was the primary reason he got a ring for LA.
If they can reach playoffs with a reasonably healthy team, they can beat anybody. LBJ is resting and the team is doing “okayish”. Last season they were 2-1 over the Suns, so they don’t need home court advantage, they need AD and LBJ healthy.
This year i don’t see any team unbeatable, in either conference, is looking like the most close season in a long time.
I thought THT was some kind of PED lols.
He’s one of the young guns they will need. So it’s good to have him back. Lakers need everyone to be a top team. Second half will tell more about this team IMO.