NBA Rumor: Alex Caruso Free Agency

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Wizards eyeing Alex Caruso?

The Lakers may also lose out on point guard Alex Caruso. There’s a sense around the league that Caruso will have several options at the full mid-level of $9.5 million. He will take meetings with teams in Los Angeles on Monday afternoon, and the Washington Wizards have been frequently mentioned by league personnel as a suitor to monitor. That’s probably because the heavily-rumored Spencer Dinwiddie sign-and-trade to Washington appears to have lost some momentum. Brooklyn has not signaled much interest in taking back either Kyle Kuzma’s or Montrezl Harrell’s contract onto its exorbitant tax bill, sources said, despite the Wizards’ ongoing efforts to move both bigs.

The free agencies of Caruso and Horton-Tucker (a restricted free agent) will be interesting. Both will have multiple suitors, sources said. With limited cap room leaguewide, the full midlevel exception — worth about $10 million — will be a powerful tool. Some agents and team executives expect a climate in which teams might offer all or most of the midlevel at the starting gun and demand a quick answer. If some rival does that with Caruso, will the Lakers match or exceed it right away? If they haggle, will it cost them?

Cavs eyeing Alex Caruso, TJ McConnell?

Any potential free agency list should start with Indiana’s T.J. McConnell and Los Angeles pest Alex Caruso. Both are Cavs targets. Both fit really well. Some prefer Caruso. He’s younger, bigger, stronger and can guard multiple spots. Others like McConnell more. Even though he doesn’t shoot many 3s, he’s more polished, capable of filling in as starter, puts pressure on the rim and was the league’s total steals leader.

Schroeder seems much more likely to return but he could see this as his last opportunity to truly run a team full-time as he turns 28 this offseason and likely will have the momentum of a playoff run boosting his profile. Still, a return makes sense for both sides. Interestingly, the biggest risk with Caruso is that another team sees him as capable of a role larger than the Lakers can offer and pay commensurate with that increased role but the combination of title contention and their capacity to pay him using Bird rights makes Caruso likely to return as well. Here, age could work in the team’s favor as Caruso being 27 means other teams will be less tantalized that there is massive untapped long-term potential that will make him far better with them. That could stall the market a little and help the Lakers’ books.

After the first signings for the next season, Pargo had shown skepticism about his potential stability in Tel Aviv but at the beginning of July, the talks between the two sides started to intensify again. Maccabi was looking also at the other options, including Alex Caruso, a source told Sportando. Caruso was considered as a main target by Maccabi, a source told Sportando, but the player is still under contract with the Los Angeles Lakers and, for the moment, the NBA franchise has no intention to part ways with him, a league source told Sportando.
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