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:
The Los Angeles Lakers agreed to a deal with Alex Caruso, per sources
— Sportando (@Sportando) July 13, 2017
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.