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In a significant move, the Oklahoma City Thunder have traded their 21-year-old guard Josh Giddey to the Chicago Bulls in exchange for two-time All-Defensive Team member Alex Caruso. This trade bolsters the Thunder’s defense, aligning with their championship aspirations by adding one of the league’s top perimeter defenders.

Caruso’s Journey and Reconnection with Daigneault

Alex Caruso, now 30, entered the NBA as an undrafted free agent in 2016. He initially signed a training camp deal with Oklahoma City but was released before the season began. Caruso then joined the Thunder’s G League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue, where he was coached by Mark Daigneault, now the head coach of the Thunder. This trade reunites Caruso with his former G League coach.

Caruso’s Defensive Impact

Caruso has become one of the NBA’s most coveted role players, known for his defensive prowess and game-changing abilities. This season, he averaged 10.1 points, 3.5 assists, 1.7 steals, and 1 block per game, with an impressive 40.8% shooting from three-point range. He excels in limiting the shooting percentages of All-Star guards and forwards to just 39.8%. According to statistics, Caruso ranks among the top three guards for games with at least one steal and one block, alongside Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Derrick White.

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Thunder’s Defensive Trio

With the addition of Caruso, the Thunder now boast three of the league’s top defensive players, including Lu Dort and Cason Wallace. Sports Illustrated senior writer Chris Mannix describes this as a perfect fit for the Thunder, enhancing their defensive capabilities significantly.

Trade Analysis and Future Prospects

NBA journalist Mat Issa boldly predicts that acquiring Caruso positions the Thunder as strong contenders for next season’s championship. Thunder reporter Brandon Rahbar explains that while the team still values Giddey as an excellent player, his skill set did not complement the Thunder’s core players. Caruso, however, fits seamlessly into the team’s defensive strategy.

Contract and Future Commitment

Caruso is entering the final year of his contract, and the Thunder are expected to negotiate a new deal soon. Oklahoma City can offer Caruso a four-year, $80 million extension to secure his services long-term.


The trade for Alex Caruso marks a strategic move for the Oklahoma City Thunder, reinforcing their defense and solidifying their status as potential title contenders. With Caruso reuniting with Coach Daigneault and joining forces with Dort and Wallace, the Thunder’s defensive lineup is now among the league’s best. Fans and analysts alike will be watching closely to see how this new dynamic unfolds in the upcoming season.(Superace88)