2. Alex Caruso
Not too long ago, Alex Caruso‘s rise to relevancy was treated as little more than a silly meme among Lakers fans. Fast forward to today, and he’s clearly become one of the most prominent defenders in the NBA, the type of player any contender would love to have on their roster.
That’s not pure conjecture either, as Caruso drew much interest from other contenders ahead of February’s trade deadline. Of course, the Bulls stuck to the course under their misguided belief they themselves could be contenders, but that doesn’t mean Caruso’s trade value has dissipated.
If anything, it’s higher than ever after being named to the All-Defensive First Team, joining other elite names Jrue Holiday, Evan Mobley, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Brook Lopez. If you’ve been following closely, you’d have known that Caruso was already at that level, but having the accolades to prove it serves to boost his image around the league a great deal.
Even Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr openly offered his praise to Caruso, personally telling the guard that he’d, “Love to have him”. It’s no coincidence the Warriors were heavily rumored to be in pursuit of the deadline, but Chicago held fast with a response that they’d only accept an offer that “blew us away”.
I don’t know if Caruso would fetch the two first-round picks they were looking for, but he’s certainly worth at least a first-rounder and a developmental piece at this point.