The Los Angeles Lakers are at the heart of talks heading into Thursday's NBA trade deadline. In a surprising twist, they are getting a ton of calls about reserve guard Alex Caruso.
Caruso has become a fan favorite in Los Angeles for his heady, scrappy play. The 25-year-old is averaging 5.5 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 18.4 minutes per game. But there's more to what he does on the court. Caruso's underlying defensive numbers are actually fantastic. He's leads the Lakers in defensive rating and is third in the NBA (100.1).
Caruso can do some things on the floor and clearly provides a spark for the Lakers off-the-bench. On a lesser team he could likely have an even bigger impact.
Caruso is just 25 years old and is under contract through 2021 for a paltry $2.75 million. That's an incredible deal for a guy who can come off the bench and provide a spark. It's not surprising that a few teams would like to add a guy like that.
The Lakers would likely take a pretty big public relations hit if they got rid of Caruso, unless they got a great return in exchange.