Bulls Didn’t Trade Alex Caruso At Trade Deadline Because Ownership Reportedly Had ‘Mandate’ To Push For Playoffs

According to NBA insider Will Gottlieb of CHGO Sports, the Chicago Bulls didn’t trade Alex Caruso at the 2024 trade deadline because ownership had a “mandate” to push for the playoffs. 

Alex Caruso, Bulls, NBA
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The Bulls are owned by Jerry Reinsdorf, who also owns the Chicago White Sox.

“According to a source with knowledge of the situation, the Bulls have received offers from multiple teams, consisting of multiple protected first-round picks,” Gottlieb wrote. “One of those deals included a pick in the top-10 of the 2024 Draft, the source said. The Golden State Warriors were among teams who made a strong offer for Caruso, multiple sources confirmed.

“Ultimately, they declined. Internally, the Bulls party line was that they would have to start searching for a Caruso replacement from the moment they traded him. That may have been fine in a rebuild, which lead executive Arturas Karnisovas admitted ownership supported.

“However, the source indicated that there was a mandate from the Reinsdorfs to fight for the Playoffs. That, no doubt, impacted the front office’s decision making when it came to pulling the trigger on any Caruso deal.”

Caruso averaged 10.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.0 blocks this season while shooting 46.8% overall, 40.8% from 3 and 76.0% from the free-throw line. He will make $9.9 million next season. 

The Bulls missed the playoffs this year for the second straight season. 

The 30-year-old Caruso has career averages of 6.8 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.3 steals and 0.5 blocks with the Los Angeles Lakers and Bulls. He’s one of the best defenders in the NBA. 

Starting July 6, Caruso is eligible to sign a four-year, $78.8 million extension. 

The Bulls are in the worst place in sports, the middle. They aren’t good enough to compete for a title but they aren’t bad enough to contend for a high draft pick. 

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