Alex Caruso isn’t afraid to redefine himself. This season with the Chicago Bulls, that meant improving his 3-point shot.

Alex Caruso is used to adapting to his environment.

He has already redefined himself once in his career, embracing his transformation from a score-first guard in high school to an elite defender as the key to finding his foothold in the NBA. But in his third year with the Chicago Bulls, Caruso is leaning into change once again.

In the first three years of his career, Caruso rarely took more than two shots from behind the arc per game. This season, he’s nearly doubled his production from long range, averaging 3.8 shots from 3-point range. And he’s making them — for the first time in his career, Caruso ranks among the top 20 of the league in true 3-point shooting percentage, averaging 42.6%.

It’s a relatively small shift. But for Caruso, it reflects a unique mentality — part of him is always fixated on how to make himself too valuable to ever lose a spot on a roster.

Caruso is one of the most important players on the Bulls roster — and arguably their most valuable trade asset as they approach the Feb. 8 deadline. Yet he still maintains the scarcity mindset of a player who once grinded his way onto a roster through long hours in the G League.

“It’s difficult,” Caruso said. “It’s not something that’s easy to do. But for me — being in the position that I am in the league where I had to try and find my way in and then find different roles — it’s about being malleable. It’s about being able to adjust at any given point in my career depending on where I’m at, who’s on the team I’m with, if I’m asked to do different things. And that’s part of what creates value.”

Caruso’s increased 3-point volume is part of a larger adjustment for the Bulls — a key focus for coach Billy Donovan at the start of this season.

Over the past two years, every Bulls player on the floor seemed more likely to drive or pass out of a close out than take the first 3-point shot of a possession. As a result, the Bulls were the lowest-volume 3-point shooting team in the league, finishing last season dead last with an average of 28.9 attempts from behind the arc.

Even Coby White — arguably the best high-volume 3-point shooter on the roster — was passing up clear looks in the opening weeks of the season.

“When guys watch film, they can see, ‘OK, this is probably one I should take,’” Donovan said. “It speaks to the unselfishness of our group. ... But shooting comes down to comfort. You need guys feeling like they’re in rhythm where they feel comfortable shooting it. I think Alex also felt last year that there were opportunities that he bypassed.”

After last season, Caruso was eager to improve his confidence shooting out of close outs. He dedicated the summer to his shot, spending most of his training with Zach Urbanus, a shooting coach who runs the “Better Than Yesterday” training program in Austin, Texas.

Although Caruso didn’t need to rework any major mechanics in his shot, he wanted to cement a better rhythm to build confidence in catch-and-shoot opportunities. This meant focusing on the small stuff: consistent shot preparation, keeping his balance, not jumping too far forward on the shot and honing a strong follow-through. Making those minute improvements meant repetition, molded around a simple mantra: “Don’t practice until you get it right, practice until you never get it wrong.”

The payoff for that work set in almost immediately. For his first 20 games of the season, Caruso couldn’t miss. He shot 50% or better from 3-point range in 13 of those games, going 4-for-5 from behind the arc against Phoenix on Nov. 8 and Orlando on Nov. 17.

“It just felt like every time I touched the ball, it was going in,” Caruso said.

The high efficiency of that shot has been somewhat disrupted by injuries, which have tugged Caruso on and off the court throughout the past three weeks. But he feels more confident lining up a 3-pointer this year than at any point in his career prior.

This is key for the Bulls, who have significantly lifted their standing as a 3-point shooting team: 21st in the league in 3-point attempts (32.6) and shooting percentage (35.5%). While that improvement has relied on players like Caruso to individually increase their shot attempts, the guard also praised DeMar DeRozan for facilitating the floor through the paint to create more spray-out opportunities. And the result is a more balanced and healthy offense.

For Caruso, this immediate improvement after a long summer’s work is a reflection of the mentality that’s guided his professional career — as long as he’s willing to adapt and improve, he will find success on the court.