Report: Lakers to Sign Alex Caruso to 2-year Contract

Darius Soriano —  July 13, 2017

Early this morning, it was reported that the Lakers would be signing Alex Caruso to a contract. This was the first report I, personally, saw:

Ramona Shelburne is reporting further details, noting it will be a 2-year contract and one of the NBA’s new “two-way” deals which allows a player to shuffle between a parent club and their G-League affiliate. In this case, then, Caruso will likely spend most of his time with the South Bay Lakers, though could get an opportunity with the Lakers for stretches.

Per language in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, a player can spend up to 45 days with the parent club and will be compensated at a higher rate for every day they spend with the parent club. Two-way contracts will have a base salary of $75K, but could be worth up to $250K if the player spends the maximum amount of days with the parent club.

Stepping away from the minutiae of the CBA, this is a nice move for the Lakers.

Caruso already has experience in the G-League (when it was the D-League), playing for OKC’s affiliate last year. In summer league he’s proven to be a nice enough lead guard option, showing himself capable of running the offense, hitting jumpers, setting up his teammates, and competing defensively. In the game that Lonzo Ball sat out against the Kings, Caruso seized his opportunity as a starter, not only putting up numbers but leading the Lakers to a win.

It remains to be seen how much time Caruso will get with the big club, but as of now he’d be 3rd on the depth chart of point guards (and that’s if you count Jordan Clarkson), since the team still has not found a backup to rookie Lonzo Ball. Shelburne reported recently that Rajon Rondo may still be under consideration for this spot, as might Tyler Ennis, Ian Clark, or Isaiah Canaan. We’ll see if any of those names pan out, but my guess is that the team will sign someone to fill that role in the regular season.

For now, though, this is a nice move for the Lakers and Caruso. He fits the style of play the team wants and after losing Josh Magette to the Hawks, the Lakers needed a PG to run their G-League team. If things work out there, he’ll get some time with the big club and fatten his pockets in the process. Sounds like a win-win to me.

Darius Soriano

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to Report: Lakers to Sign Alex Caruso to 2-year Contract

  1. Do these 2 way contracts effect cap for the big club?


  2. Josh Magette never even got a look, even with the Lakers being so bad last year. Must have some holes in his game, because he can really dish the ball. Good luck to him…

    Still like Caruso more than Tyler Ennis, more to his game. He can’t help that he looks like he should be selling insurance.


    • TheNumberOfFlopsIsTooDamnHigh July 13, 2017 at 6:33 pm

      Yeah, I’m not even sure I’d buy an insurance from him…. but he can play some quality point guard basketball, he sold me on that.


    • Anybody remember Mike Penberthy? He reminds me of a younger version of the UPS 3 pt superstar


  3. Rick in Seattle July 13, 2017 at 11:45 am

    Good reporting Darius, looks like you were the first of the Lakers’ reporters on this story.

    If I understand the new rules, any team can have up to two 2-way contract players. Therefore,
    with the way Thomas Bryant has played in summer league, I can see him being offered the Lakers second 2-way player slot. By the way, Bryant has not yet signed a contract, has he?

    Also, I am wondering how this new contract will affect the parent club. Would seem to make it more probably that they leave an open spot on the 15-man roster, in order to better use the services of the two 2-way contract players, or am I missing something?

    if the Lakers fill both 2-way contracts, would it seem more likely that the parent team keeps an open roster spot, in order for the 2-way contract players to come and go?

    Finally, does this new feature in any way make it more difficult for other G-league players (like Blue or Magette) from being brought up during the season? Are there any other changes in the D/G-league rules that we should know about?


    • I doubt Thomas Bryant will be signed to a two-way contract. According to reports the Lakers have enough money to sign him to a two year deal. And the two-way contracts give teams the ability to expand the roster to 17 players. So no, the Lakers won’t have to keep an open spot in the 15.
      As it stands the Lakers have 12 players on their roster. Assuming Nwaba clears waivers he’ll mostly be number 13, Bryant 14 and the back-up PG like Rondo, Clark, Ennis or whoever filling the final spot. The second two-way contract is more likely to go to P.J. Dozier.
      Also it won’t affect other G-League players from being called up, although those players will be signing 10-day contracts (max. of two), just like Nwaba at the end of last year. After two 10-day contracts the team has to either sign them to a long term deal (like Nwaba), or release them to go back to G-League.


  4. I like the move and good for Caruso.

    As for more info on the G-league/2-way contracts, players on 2-way contracts can only be called up by their parent team. I remember reading somewhere agents actually prefer their G-league clients to NOT take the 2-way contract. The base salary is higher, but they can be called up by any team if they’re not on a 2-way contract and that it could lead to a bigger payday.


  5. Probably has just as good a chance of making it in the NHL.


  6. TempleOfJamesWorthy July 13, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    David Caruso = Homeless Man’s Steve Blake

    I wish him luck, but I don’t think he’ll ever be more than a fringe NBA player


  7. I wish they would grab Pierre Jackson from the Pistons for the backup PG role. The guy is about to break out big time.


    • Rick in Seattle July 16, 2017 at 2:38 pm

      It looks like he is playing for Maccabi Tel Aviv. He has bounced around a bit: Philly, NO, Dallas
      He is a 5-10, 180 PG. Probably not the type of veteran reserve PG the Lakers are looking for.