Bulls Would Need to be "Blown Away" to Trade Alex Caruso

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Bulls Would Need to be “Blown Away” to Trade Alex Caruso

Chicago Bulls

Let’s make one thing clear: Alex Caruso isn’t “untouchable.”

As great as he has been anchoring the Chicago Bulls’ 12th-ranked defense this season, his talents are a luxury. The Bulls have several other holes that need to be filled on their roster, and Caruso could be the key to filling those needs. He doesn’t have to be. But he could be.

Indeed, that’s likely why ESPN’s Jamal Collier recently reported that the Bulls have answered calls about the reserve guard. He reiterated that their price remains high, but the mere fact they’re still listening is certainly noteworthy.

Alex Caruso has drawn interest from other teams and Chicago has been open to listening to offers on the reserve guard, a league source told ESPN, but the Bulls would likely have to be blown away by a deal to trade perhaps their most important defensive player

Do I think Arturas Karnisovas will trade Caruso by Feb. 9? No. But I do think they may be more open to it than some might think. Again, Caruso is the epitome of a winning role player on an extremely team-friendly contract. While the Bulls would love to keep him a part of the long-term winning picture, another contending team might pay a premium to add him right here, right now.

We’ve discussed this before, but I think specifically about a team like the Golden State Warriors. What if they found a way to offer a couple of future first-round picks? Or what if they put a guy like James Wiseman or Moses Moody on the table alongside a future first-rounder? For a Bulls team that can stand to get a bit younger and needs to refill its asset arsenal, that’s a hard deal not to think about.

We’d have to say the same thing about a potential offer from a team like the New Orleans Pelicans. While it’s unclear if they have an interest in the veteran defender, they have a plethora of draft picks and several young players to throw into a deal.

Look, I know some may not feel like Caruso is worth a “blow my mind” offer, but I’d beg to differ. His +3.9 defensive rating sits in the league’s 100th percentile, per Dunks & Threes. He’s tied for forcing the 5th-most steals per game, and the Bulls are a +10.4 per 100 possessions when he’s on the floor, per Cleaning the Glass. The stats speak for themselves.

He is truly one of the NBA’s best defensive talents, and he will immediately elevate whatever team adds him to the rotation. With that being the case, the Bulls are right to ask for a haul, especially if their plan is to try to be competitive in the years to come. Even if they were to switch up certain core members, Caruso is the kind of piece that can fit into any style of play.

Not to mention, it’s not like the Bulls’ best chance to trade him is now. He isn’t one of those players that should significantly drop off in play. My gut tells me that he’ll be just as valuable on the trade market next season as he is now, so I don’t expect the door to close on finding a suitable deal for him anytime soon.

Author: Elias Schuster

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