SURPRISE: Chicago Bulls Ink Alex Caruso to Four-year, $37M Deal

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SURPRISE: Chicago Bulls Ink Alex Caruso to Four-year, $37M Deal

Chicago Bulls

Arutras Karnisovas knows how to keep things close to the vest, and he reminded us of this a couple of hours into free agency.

The Chicago Bulls have signed Lakers guard Alex Caruso to a four-year deal with $37 million.

Uh, yeah, to say I did not see this coming would be an understatement … but that does not mean I don’t like it!

While I know this deal may feel a bit offputting at first, let’s look at more on an annual basis. Caruso will be playing on a $9.25 million AAV, which is practically the entire mid-level exception, which the Bulls opened by working as an over-the-cap team. Paying Caruso that much per year, in my opinion, feels pretty damn palatable. After all, The Athletic’s John Hollinger puts Caruso’s value for next season at roughly $12 million.

Caruso is a fierce on-ball defender whose scrappiness certainly helped the Los Angeles Lakers finish near the top of the defensive ranking over the past couple of seasons. Additionally, he hits the 3-ball at a very efficient clip (40.1 percent in 2020-21), gets to the rim when he needs to (33 percent of takes come at the cup, which ranks in the 82nd percentile), and limits his turnovers. But the Bulls clearly seem to prioritize defensive and offensive versatility in their free agency period thus far. Caruso and Ball are two players who can slot in at the wing or point guard position.

We will have more on this soon.

Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.