Alex Caruso’s stint with the Los Angeles Lakers came to an end several weeks ago when he agreed to a four-year, $37 million deal with the Chicago Bulls.
In the aftermath, Caruso got brutally honest about why he ultimately opted to leave LA.
Based on the 27-year-old’s account of everything that had transpired, it sounded like the Lakers simply didn’t want him back at the price he felt he deserved.
As it turns out, however, the Lakers have a different version of events for what led to Caruso’s exit.
According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, the situation was actually a lot more complex than people initially realized.
“A source with knowledge of the negotiations strongly refuted the inference that he wasn’t wanted back,” he wrote. “That doesn’t change the fact that Caruso’s side claimed to be confused about the communication element of the negotiation, but it seems the Lakers’ calculus was similar to the one Milwaukee faced with P.J. Tucker.
“In both situations, there was a price point that both franchises were willing to go to based on the exorbitant luxury-tax hit that would come their way. And in the end, after initial interest, they simply decided to part ways when the price went too high.”
— Game 7 (@game7__) August 15, 2021
Two sides walking away with different impressions of why an agreement couldn’t be reached is not unusual. The Lakers obviously felt like they tried to retain Caruso but couldn’t, and Caruso clearly believed that he attempted to give LA a hometown discount but still didn’t get what he felt he was worth.
Over the past week Caruso got pretty blunt on his feelings regarding leaving the Lakers.
Fortunately, it sounds like the former Texas A&M standout is stepping into a pretty great situation with the Bulls – and at least one of his new teammates is really excited to play alongside him.