What kind of impact can Alex Caruso have for the Oklahoma City Thunder?

Alex Caruso Bulls pic 1
Alex Caruso Bulls pic 1

With the 2024 NBA Finals finished, the offseason is now here for all 30 teams. Each front office has a different strategy on how they want to assemble their roster. The 2024 draft class is notably weaker than it has been in the past. Teams could be more inclined to trade for a player this offseason. That’s what the Oklahoma City Thunder did yesterday. 

Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Thunder traded Josh Giddey to the Bulls in exchange for Alex Caruso. Giddey lost his starting spot to Isaiah Joe for OKC’s final two postseason games in 2024. General Manager Sam Presti has long-coveted Alex Caruso and Chicago was willing to make a deal. The Thunder now have two of the best on-ball defenders in the league, Alex Caruso and Luguentz Dort.

Alex Caruso will help bring another level of intensity to the Thunder’s defense in 2024-25

In the 2021 NBA Draft, the Oklahoma City Thunder used the sixth overall pick on Josh Giddey. During his second season with the team in 2022-23, Giddey improved his points and rebounds per game. However, his averages took a step back this past season despite playing a career-high 80 games for the Thunder. General Manager Sam Presti felt the team could use an upgrade to replace Giddey and the Bulls were willing to make a deal happen.

Now, Alex Caruso is a member of the Thunder and will be an integral part of their defensive identity. For the last three seasons, Caruso had been a member of the Chicago Bulls. He signed a four-year, $36.9 million deal with Chicago. Caruso is heading into the final season of his deal. The 20-year-old has been one of the most coveted role players over the last few seasons. He’s never going to blow you away each night with his offensive skill set. However, you know that Caruso is going to be a pest on the defensive end and someone your team can rely on.

During his seven-year NBA career thus far, Alex Caruso has two All-Defensive selections. They’ve come in each of his last two seasons. Caruso made the All-Defensive First Team in 2022-23 and the All-Defensive Second Team in 2023-24. Now, the Bulls have three high-level on-ball defenders Alex Caruso, Luguentz Dort, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Expect the Thunder to be one of the top defensive teams in the NBA next season.

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