Lakers interested in bringing back Alex Caruso and Andre Drummond
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
The Lakers have expressed interest in Andre Drummond and Alex Caruso, two former Lakers.
Drummond and Caruso are quality role players who could be impactful contributors for this current roster.
Caruso and Drummond both played for LA in the 2020-21 season. They are both on the Chicago Bulls now, who the Purple and Gold beat 141-132 on Thursday night.
Caruso is one of the best role players in the NBA, and the Lakers have regretted letting him walk in free agency. The 29-year-old is one of the best perimeter defenders in basketball and has great chemistry with LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
LeBron hinting at an Alex Caruso reunion? 👀🍿 pic.twitter.com/sgOzVKw4zo— Lakers All Day Everyday (@LADEig) January 26, 2024
Caruso earned All-Defensive First Team Honors last season and has continued to play at a high level this season. He is averaging 10/4/3 with 1.3 steals and one block per game on 49/42/78 shooting splits.
Caruso was a part of the Lakers 2020 championship team and would be an excellent addition at the trade deadline. He could start or come off the bench for this team and is under contract for this season and next.
Chicago hasn’t expressed interest in moving Caruso despite multiple teams, including the LakeShow, being interested. It would likely take multiple first-round picks, a young player like Jalen Hood-Schifino or Max Christie, and a salary filler to make a competitive offer.
His defense skill and efficient three-point shooting makes him a perfect fit for the team.
Drummond is another target for the Lakers. The 30-year-old center is in the final year of his deal, averaging 8/8/1 while shooting 55.3% from the field.
He is a quality traditional backup center, which is something they desperately could use. Anthony Davis is one of the best bigs in basketball, and Christian Wood has been a solid backup big.
However, Wood is offensive-minded, and LA could use a traditional backup center like Drummond, who could help defend elite centers like Nikola Jokic in the playoffs.
The Lakers have considered trading for Andre Drummond to potentially matchup vs Nikola Jokic in the playoffs, per @mcten— NBACentral (@TheDunkCentral) January 23, 2024
“The Lakers have also considered dealing for players who could address specific needs in a potential playoff matchup, such as Andre Drummond of the Bulls, in… pic.twitter.com/0xOxVpM4mr
The cost of Drummond, who is on an expiring deal, likely wouldn’t be much. Trading away Jaxson Hayes plus second-round picks may be enough to get a deal done.
While Drummond’s first tenure with the Lakers didn’t work out, he started to establish chemistry with Davis in the postseason. He would fill a role for the team and establish quality depth in their big rotation.
Rob Pelinka has a lot of work to do at the trade deadline. There are many avenues he could go, but Caruso and Drummond would be impactful additions.