During an appearance on J.J. Redick's podcast, Alex Caruso indirectly he confirmed he was willing to remain with the Los Angeles Lakers on a contract worth less than the one offered by the Chicago Bulls.
“So going into (free agency), I really didn’t know what to expect, and I really didn’t hear much from any team — including the Lakers — leading up to 6 p.m., and then they called, and the Lakers made their offer," said Caruso as transcribed by Silver Screen & Roll. "It wasn’t an offer I was going to accept because I was going to be able to get considerably more money from another team.
“There was talk with a bunch of different people about the mid-level, which I think was four (years), $40 million. We never got anybody to that actual number, but there were a couple teams that got close. And then my agent texted me and said ‘hey, Chicago is interested in signing you.’ I didn’t know that financially it was going to be able to work. I thought that once Zo (Lonzo Ball) signed with Chicago, I was like ‘OK, so Chicago is off the list.’
“I got on the phone with (Bulls GM Artūras Karnišovas) and with (head coach Billy Donovan), and the way they were just talking about how they wanted to play and how they saw me as a player, I thought they hit the nail on the head. I thought everything they said, I was like ‘I think that’s accurate, I think that’s what I bring to the table, I think that’s how I can help the team win, I think that’s the direction this team wants to go.’ I thought there was a need for the stuff that I had.
“Essentially we got that offer, went back to L.A., asked if they could do the same, they said ‘no.’ Asked for something else that was a little less, they said ‘no.’ So I said ‘OK, if that’s what it comes to, I’m ready to go to Chicago and start the next chapter.’ It’s been great. I think it’s been a great decision for me.”
The best offer from the Lakers was only $15 million for two seasons compared to the four-year, $37 million deal from the Bulls.
Caruso is represented by Greg Lawrence of Wasserman.