A new rumor has the Cavs being interested in Alex Caruso.
The Cavs are being attached to yet another free agent. We’ve heard rumblings for the last few weeks of the Cavaliers targeting T.J. McConnell and Doug McDermott of the Indiana Pacers, but now the word is out that Cleveland is also interested in Alex Caruso of the Los Angeles Lakers. The rumor comes from Clevleand.com’s Chris Fedor. Caruso is a fan favorite in Los Angeles and would be a championship ring with him to the Cavaliers should he be intrigued in the team.
The Cavs are clearly interested in upgrading the point guard position, as the team struggled last year with Darius Garland was off the court. They struggled with him on the court too, but that’s neither here nor there at the moment. Both McConnell and Caruso would be fine upgrades at the guard position but both men actually would be good signings together.
McConnell is a do-it-all point guard type, who’s great at passing and isn’t afraid to fight for rebounds. He’s not a great shooter, just 31% in 2020-2021 and 32.9% lifetime from three, but he’s a great inside scorer (55.9% in 2020-2021) and his all-around skills make him a positive addition offensively (+1.4) and defensively (+0.9). He’s an ideal fit.
For Caruso, he’s not the same offensive player overall as McConnell (-1.9) but defensively he’d be a gem for the defensive-minded Cavs (+3.9, highest on the Lakers for 2020-2021). He’s also very athletic for his size. Not just that, but Caruso has shown flashes of being very good on offense. In the 2018-2019 season, he was +1.6 on offense. This was the year he took his most shots (6.9 per game), played his most minutes (21.2 per game), his most assists (3.1 per game), and his most points (9.2 per game).
Caruso may fit better as an undersized shooting guard in the Cavs system, especially off the bench, if the team brings in McConnell as well.
If the Cavs have to pick one, go with T.J. McConnell over Alex Caruso
Ideally, it’d be great to have all three and Doug McDermott. While McDermott is a liability defensively, the three men all seem to fill a massive need for the team. For McConnell, it’s his playmaking and defensive abilities, while Caruso brings a floor spacer and perimeter defender, while McDermott brings athleticism at the low post and the ability to space the floor. The team needs all of that.
If they have to choose though, it should be McConnell. What he brings to the table may not be the most exciting skillet but he makes teams better on both sides of the ball. He’s unheralded but his contribution is undeniable.
The team should seriously find a way to get Caruso as well, however, as his defense alone makes him worth a spot in the rotation. J.B. Bickerstaff needs defensive-inclined players, and Caruso and McConnell both fit that mold.