Bulls, Thunder complete Alex Caruso-Josh Giddey trade

League: NBA

Posted on: 21 Jun, 2024 at 03:20 PM

Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The Thunder and Bulls swapped guards on Friday, with Alex Caruso heading to Oklahoma City and Josh Giddey to Chicago.

Both teams announced the deal.

Caruso, 30, is entering the final year of his four-year, $36.98 million contract, and the Bulls get younger by adding the 21-year-old Giddey. The Thunder acquired a guard who was named to the NBA All-Defensive first team in 2022-23 and the second team in 2023-24.

Giddey, the sixth overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, started a career-high 80 games for the Thunder in 2023-24 and averaged 12.3 points, 6.4 rebounds and 4.8 assists. In 210 games (all starts) in his three NBA seasons, the Australian has career averages of 13.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5.7 assists.

Thunder general manager Sam Presti said Friday that the team and Giddey had differing thoughts on his future role with the team.

"When we drafted Josh in 2021 he was an essential aspect of our vision for the next iteration of the Thunder. Since then, our team has evolved rapidly and dynamically in ways we could never have anticipated," Presti said in a news release. "Therefore, as we began our internal discussions this offseason, it was determined that bringing Josh off the bench next season was our best option to maximize his many talents and deploy our team more efficiently over 48 minutes.

"As we laid out to Josh how he could lean into his strengths and ultimately optimize our current roster and talent, it was hard to for him to envision, and conversations turned to him inquiring about potential opportunities elsewhere. As always was the case, Josh demonstrated the utmost professionalism throughout the discussions. Josh has All-Star potential, but accessing that in the current construct of the Thunder would not be optimal for the collective. Based on these discussions we decided to move forward and prioritize what was best for the organization."

Caruso started his NBA journey with the Thunder, who signed him as an undrafted free agent on Sept. 23, 2016, and waived him less than a month later. The Lakers signed him to a two-way deal in 2017, and he spent four seasons in Los Angeles before signing as a free agent with the Bulls.

In 363 games (130 starts) for the Lakers (2017-21) and Bulls, Caruso has put up 6.8 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.3 steals per contest. He won an NBA championship with L.A. in 2019-20 and earned the NBA Hustle Award for 2023-24.

--Field Level Media