They’ll reunite on the Bulls
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Free agent guard Alex Caruso has agreed to a four-year, $37M deal with the Chicago Bulls, his agent Greg Lawrence of @Wasserman tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 3, 2021
Free agent F Trevor Ariza has agreed to a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, his agents Aaron Mintz, Steven Heumann and Erika Ruiz of @caa_sports tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 2, 2021
Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) August 2, 2021
Shams Charania of The Athletic:
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 2, 2021
Caruso is a valuable role player who defends, hustles and can hit 3s. He should help a Chicago team trying to win now.
It’s unclear why the Lakers aren’t keeping him. They have his Bird Rights and could have exceeded the salary cap to re-sign him. Though that would have added to their luxury-tax liability, the Lakers have their championship window open. LeBron James isn’t holding their feet to the fire like he did with the Cavaliers.
For now, Los Angeles appears to be opting for cheap signings. Ellington is a good shooter for a team that desperately needs more pacing, though the 33-year-old doesn’t do much else. If the 36-year-old Ariza has enough left in the tank, he fits well with other stars.
Ariza and Howard can commiserate on getting pushed off the Lakers following championships only to return later. After Ariza helped them win in 2009, the Lakers let him walk to sign then-Ron Artest. Howard announced his return last year only to get told he didn’t have a contract offer.