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#pounditSunday, May 16, 2021

Articles tagged: Alex Caruso

Lakers prepared to pay big money to keep Schroder, Caruso?

Dennis Schroder

The Los Angeles Lakers might not be especially active adding players ahead of the trade deadline because they have the offseason in mind.

Adrian Wojnarowski talked about the Lakers an episode of “The Woj Pod” published on Thursday. The subject came up when discussing whether the Lakers would add Andre Drummond if he gets bought out.

“The Lakers are looking a little bit down the road,” Woj said around 27:30 in the episode. “Dennis Schroder, they’ve got to pay him this offseason. It’s going to cost them well over $20 million a year to keep him. Alex Caruso, they’re going to want to pay and keep him.”

Woj also said Talen Horton-Tucker could be a starter for them. He believes the Lakers will try to free up some future money in order to keep Schroder, Caruso and Horton-Tucker.

The Lakers are going to need to create money to keep all the players. In addition to the more than $20 million Schroder will make, Caruso is also expected to get nearly $10 million.

Video: Alex Caruso suffers injury after banging head on floor

Alex Caruso

Alex Caruso left Friday night’s Los Angeles Lakers-Indiana Pacers game after suffering a scary injury.

Caruso was dribbling down the court with the ball in the second quarter and lost possession. He slipped as he went for the ball, crashed into Jeremy Lamb, and hit his head on the floor.

Here’s another look at the injury:

Caruso ended up leaving the game with what was termed a head contusion.

The Lakers guard was just returning from neck spasms too and now is adding this to the list. Caruso had four points, two rebounds and an assist prior to leaving the game. The fan-favorite entered the game averaging 5.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game this season.

Alex Caruso turned down invite to compete in Dunk Contest

Alex Caruso

This year’s NBA Slam Dunk Contest was almost going to be the single greatest event in the history of Western civilization.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Alex Caruso revealed this week that he received an invite from the league to compete at the event but turned it down.

“[I’m] maybe looking forward to [the break] a little bit more,” said Caruso, per Bill Oram of The Athletic. “I’ll probably just play some golf with some buddies and leave it at that.”

The Dunk Contest will not have very much star power this year, especially without a cult hero like Caruso taking part. The three participants will be Obi Toppin of the New York Knicks, Anfernee Simons of the Portland Trail Blazers, and Cassius Stanley of the Indiana Pacers.

The 27-year-old fan favorite Caruso actually almost found his way into All-Star Weekend through the will of the people. But it sounds like he would rather spend the All-Star break working on his golf swing instead.

Alex Caruso expected to make nearly $10 million next season

Alex Caruso

Alex Caruso has been a bargain for the Los Angeles Lakers the last two seasons, but things are about to change.

Caruso will be an unrestricted free agent during the summer. He is likely to make much more than his current $2.75 million when he does sign.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said in a report published on Monday that league executives think Caruso could draw interest at the full midlevel exception. The full midlevel exception will be $9.5 million next season.

Caruso has been with the Lakers since 2017 and has been a steady guard option off the bench. He is a two-way player and extremely popular with the fans.

Keeping Caruso would be complicated for the Lakers. They have his Bird Rights, but would lose those if they go over the luxury tax apron in free agency or renounce Caruso’s $5.2 million cap hold. If the 27-year-old decides he wants a bigger role, he would probably look to another team that can provide the opportunity for him.

H/T Silver Screen and Roll

Twitter reacts to Alex Caruso’s rise in All-Star voting

Alex Caruso

A surprise new entrant could soon be coming to an All-Star Game near you.

The NBA released its second round of All-Star voting on Thursday. One of the most notable developments was the rise of Los Angeles Lakers guard Alex Caruso, who is now 10th among guards in the Western Conference.

Caruso’s ascendance led to some funny reactions on Twitter. Caruso is a beloved local cult hero in L.A. but one who is otherwise lacking All-Star credentials. Many also questioned players who have missed time like Ja Morant or who are out for the season entirely like Klay Thompson ranking ahead of counterparts like De’Aaron Fox, DeMar DeRozan, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Take a look:

For Caruso, he is a marquee defender for his position and plays a pivotal role for the defending champion Lakers. He also has a cult following unlike any other player in the NBA. But one need not look further than Caruso’s averages this season of 5.5 points and 2.1 assists per game to realize that there are many more deserving All-Star candidates.

In any case, fan voting only counts for 50 percent of the total vote. That was a change implemented by the league recently when another improbable cult hero almost made it to the All-Star Game.

Alex Caruso embracing his cult following

Alex Caruso

Alex Caruso is one of the NBA’s last great cult heroes, and he is more than game to play the part.

Addressing reporters on Thursday, the Los Angeles Lakers guard spoke on his cult following, particularly within the local fanbase.

“Lakers fans were already in love with me, I think,” said Caruso, per Ryan Ward of Lakers Daily. “I think now it’s kind of doubled over.”

Caruso, 26, really came into his own last season beyond just the memes. He got key minutes from the Lakers in the playoffs, emerging as a top perimeter defender and helping them win their first championship since 2010.

There are many reasons why Laker fans love Caruso so much. Now that he is an NBA champion with the Lakers too, that will only increase exponentially.

Alex Caruso wanted by every team in trade, Lakers coach says

Alex Caruso

Alex Caruso was a highly sought-after player in trade talks, one Los Angeles Lakers coach says.

Lakers assistant coach Mike Penberthy spoke with Lakers Daily for an interview published on Thursday. In the interview, Penberthy talked about how desirable Caruso was for other teams.

“Every time we wanted to do a trade in the offseason or before the trade deadline, every team wanted Alex Caruso,” Penberthy told Lakers Daily. “He’s known throughout the league and respected throughout the league.

“I think his basketball I.Q. is really high. His NBA skill set is very high. He’s an above-average athlete and he’s an excellent defender. That’s what makes him so good.”

Caruso, 26, just completed his third season with the Lakers. The young guard averaged 5.5 points, 1.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.1 steals per game in the regular season. He averaged 6.5 points per game during the postseason and was part of the Lakers’ championship team.

Caruso is under contract with the Lakers through next season and set to become a free agent after that. He is a major fan favorite and a bit of a cult hero too.

Johnny Manziel calls Alex Caruso the ‘goat’ after championship

Alex Caruso

Alex Caruso completed his journey from undrafted G League player to NBA champion on Sunday night, and Johnny Manziel had high praise for his fellow Texas A&M alum.

Caruso played 33 minutes after getting the start in the Los Angeles Lakers’ NBA Finals-clinching win over the Miami Heat. He only scored four points, but the 26-year-old had five assists and made his biggest contributions on defense. Manziel responded to a great tweet from Texas A&M about Caruso’s journey by posing a simple emoji.

Caruso played more than 24 minutes per game in the playoffs, which is remarkable considering the path he took to even get to the Lakers’ roster. He even got a personal shoutout from Magic Johnson after the win.

Caruso is the type of scrappy player that can play a big role in the postseason, and that’s exactly what he did. He may have gotten away with a ridiculous flop during Game 2, but those are the plays that help win championships.

Lakers fans, show everyone who runs LA with this great T-shirt. It makes a perfect gift for you or a friend. You can buy it here.

Video: Alex Caruso got away with a ridiculous flop

Alex Caruso

Alex Caruso got away with a ridiculous flop during Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Friday night.

The Los Angeles Lakers were holding the ball for the final possession of the first quarter against the Miami Heat. LeBron James attempted a long shot as the quarter was ending, so Caruso tried to crash the boards.

As Caruso got into the key, he got pushed slightly by Kendrick Nunn and acted extra hard like he had been hit by a tidal wave.

The officials reviewed the play after seeing Caruso go flying. They actually called a foul on Nunn and gave the Lakers the ball with time left on the clock.

Perhaps in a “ball don’t lie” justice scenario, Caruso missed his 3-point attempt to attend the quarter.

That was one of the most embarrassing postseason flops since this one by Marcus Smart.

Video: Alex Caruso enjoys ‘Taco Tuesday’ in funny ad

Alex Caruso

LeBron James and Anthony Davis may be the stars of the Los Angeles Lakers, but don’t sleep on Alex Caruso.

The young guard is a fan-favorite for the purple and gold, and even got a commercial advertising a new product line called smAll-Stars.

In the commercial, Caruso enjoys a “Taco Tuesday” meal beside collectible versions of LeBron and Davis.

You may recall last year James was filming Taco Tuesday videos every week during the summer. James even tried to trademark the phrase but was denied.

Now a year later, it’s his teammate who’s keeping the tradition alive.