Alex Caruso’s take on new Bulls teammates Drummond, Dragić, Terry

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Caruso’s impressions of new Bulls Drummond, Dragić, Terry originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Alex Caruso was one of the Chicago Bulls’ marquee pickups of a busy 2021 offseason that also featured sign-and-trades for DeMar DeRozan and Lonzo Ball.

This offseason, he is preparing for his second season with the franchise — and his first full campaign with a few new teammates.

Speaking from the American Century Championship golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, Nev., Caruso joined the Bulls Talk Podcast and offered his initial impressions of three new players the Bulls picked up this summer: Andre Drummond, Goran Dragić (both via free agency), and Dalen Terry, the 18th pick in the 2022 draft.

Andre Drummond

Caruso and Drummond were actually Lakers teammates for a short spell. Drummond signed with Los Angeles and started 26 games for them — including five in the postseason — after being bought out by the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2020-21 season.

In that stint, Caruso saw up close what most observers have known for years: Drummond is an elite rebounder with a well-rounded skill set for a center.

“He can get you 10 to 20 (rebounds), depending on how people shoot it, any given night,” Caruso said. “Good screener, I think a little bit of an underrated passer at times, and just a big body.”

Drummond, who signed a two-year deal with the Bulls earlier in July, projects as the team’s backup center. But Caruso also sees the potential for him to mesh with the Bulls’ perimeter stars and Nikola Vučević.

“I think that [Drummond’s physicality] clears up space for guys like DeMar (DeRozan), Zach (LaVine), even Vooch if they somehow play together,” Caruso said. “If you're going to put your [center] on him, now all of a sudden you got a small on Vooch or you got a mismatch on DeMar. They double him (DeRozan) now, and so you got a [small/power forward] boxing out Drummond, and that’s not going to work.

“He (Drummond) just has special skills. That's why he's been in the league so many times — All-Stars, league-leading rebounds. He’s just a really good player.”

Goran Dragić

Caruso’s first season in the NBA was Dragić’s 10th. In it, Dragić earned an All-Star nod as a member of the Heat.

Two years later, the two were poised to match up in the 2020 NBA Finals before Dragić tore his left plantar fascia and missed all but Game 1 of Caruso’s Lakers’ six-game win over Miami.

So needless to say, while Caruso said he doesn’t yet know Dragić personally, his respect for the now 14-year veteran runs deep.

“I’m excited to get to know him and be his teammate,” Caruso said of Dragić. “Savvy. That left hand of his is deadly. You let him get to his left, he’s a really, really good player.

“Good shooter outside, experienced postseason player. I think he's just a good addition to help the core and the overall team mindset of what we're going to expect next year.”

Dalen Terry

Caruso is an avid college basketball fan and said he caught glimpses of Terry in last year’s NCAA Tournament. Terry’s Arizona Wildcats finished the 2021-22 season 33-4 and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen of the tourney.

What stood out to Caruso about the rookie’s game should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with Caruso’s no-holds-barred style of play.

“I know he’s got great energy. I know he plays hard. I remember seeing that,” Caruso said. “I think he probably fits as a 3-and-D (player). Has a good feel for the game as well as far as creating for others.

“For him, it’s just going to be about finding his way and his role in the league and how he can affect the game. Because I think the Bulls front office and AK (executive vice president Artūras Karnišovas) and (general manager) Marc (Eversley) have done a good job of finding guys that can play. I don’t expect anything different with him.”

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