Thunder Trade Josh Giddey To Bulls For Alex Caruso

The Thunder have officially traded Josh Giddey to the Bulls for Alex Caruso, the two teams confirmed in press releases. Our full trade breakdown from Thursday can be found here.

While Chicago’s statement doesn’t have any quotes from the front office, Thunder head of basketball operations Sam Presti was remarkably transparent, at least from his perspective, about how and why the trade transpired.

We want to thank Josh for his many contributions to our team and know he will capitalize on the opportunities before him in Chicago.

When we drafted Josh in 2021 he was an essential aspect of our vision for the next iteration of the Thunder. Since then, our team has evolved rapidly and dynamically in ways we could never have anticipated. Therefore, as we began our internal discussions this offseason, it was determined that bringing Josh off the bench next season was our best option to maximize his many talents and deploy our team more efficiently over 48 minutes.

As we laid out to Josh how he could lean into his strengths and ultimately optimize our current roster and talent, it was hard to for him to envision, and conversations turned to him inquiring about potential opportunities elsewhere. As always was the case, Josh demonstrated the utmost professionalism throughout the discussions. Josh has All-Star potential, but accessing that in the current construct of the Thunder would not be optimal for the collective. Based on these discussions we decided to move forward and prioritize what was best for the organization.

Alex Caruso is a player we have always highly valued and followed. He is the quintessential Thunder player; he is an exceptional competitor and teammate with a multi-dimensional skillset. His presence and game will help elevate the core of our team as we continue to strive to build a sustainably elite program in Oklahoma City. Alex is a player that began his professional career with the Thunder/Blue and the opportunity to add him was something we felt would truly enhance our team and culture. We could not be more excited to see Alex in Thunder blue (again).”

A former sixth overall pick who is still only 21 years old, Giddey was brought off the bench for the first time in his career during the Thunder’s second-round series vs. Dallas due to shooting and defensive struggles. The Australian guard/forward, who is a very talented rebounder and passer, will be a restricted free agent next summer if he doesn’t sign a rookie scale extension with Chicago this offseason.

Caruso, meanwhile, has become one of the NBA’s best perimeter defenders, earning All-Defensive team nods each of the past two seasons. He’s also a more accomplished shooter than Giddey, with superior accuracy (38.0% vs. 31.0%) from three-point range during his career. The 30-year-old is headed for unrestricted free agency in 2025 if he doesn’t sign an extension before the 2024/25 campaign ends.

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