Lakers News: How Los Angeles Could Trade Up in Draft to Reunite with 2020 Champ

Could this critical reserve be joining the Purple and Gold again?
Jan 11, 2023; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma (33) hits the game winning three point basket over Chicago Bulls guard Alex Caruso (6) during the second half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 11, 2023; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma (33) hits the game winning three point basket over Chicago Bulls guard Alex Caruso (6) during the second half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports / Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
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The Los Angeles Lakers have long had seller's remorse for letting 2020 champion Alex Caruso depart the Purple and Gold as a free agent in 2021.

Now, Brett Siegel of ClutchPoints envisions a hypothetical in which L.A. could reacquire the two-time All-Defensive Team guard, now missing the playoffs and generally wasting away with the Chicago Bulls. Siegel posits that Chicago could look to trade up, from its current spot in the draft to, say, the No. 4 pick (presently owned by the San Antonio Spurs, who also have the No. 8 pick in the lottery — a deal that could cost Chicago an additional first and a second rounder, in a historically weak draft class), and could also look to add the Lakers' No. 17 pick and a 2026 top-five protected L.A. first rounder in exchange for Caruso.

It's a fascinating theoretical scenario. The Bulls would use the No. 4 pick on G League Ignite small forward Matas Buzelis and would draft jumbo-sized All-American Purdue center Zach Edey with the No. 17 selection.

Bulls team president Arturas Karnisovas has been insanely averse to making virtually any kind of meaningful transaction since the summer of 2021, when he constructed the core of Chicago's current team, which has won a single playoff game and flat-out missed the playoffs twice. Caruso, 30, deserves better than to toil away in his prime for a team seemingly happy to go nowhere fast. The Lakers have been a bit erratic since his departure, but the team is at least committed to making moves and striving to improve around All-Stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the only two remnants from Caruso's title-winning 2020 squad. L.A. also is just one year removed from a Western Conference Finals berth, so clearly the club has found some success.

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Alex Kirschenbaum

ALEX KIRSCHENBAUM

Basketball is Alex's favorite sport, he likes the way they dribble up and down the court.