Bulls signing Alex Caruso, Lakers getting Trevor Ariza and Wayne Ellington

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Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso began their NBA careers together with the Lakers in 2017 – Ball the ballyhooed No. 2 pick and Caruso an undrafted minor-leaguer mistaken for the UPS guy.

They’ll reunite on the Bulls

The Lakers will rebound from the loss of Caruso with Trevor Ariza, Wayne Ellington and – yesDwight Howard.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

Caruso is a valuable role player who defends, hustles and can hit 3s. He should help a Chicago team trying to win now.

It’s unclear why the Lakers aren’t keeping him. They have his Bird Rights and could have exceeded the salary cap to re-sign him. Though that would have added to their luxury-tax liability, the Lakers have their championship window open. LeBron James isn’t holding their feet to the fire like he did with the Cavaliers.

Los Angeles could create a trade exception by signing-and-trading Caruso to the Bulls, who’d preserve their mid-level exception in that scenario. If the Lakers use that extra spending power, that could be a good way of maximizing their odds of winning.

For now, Los Angeles appears to be opting for cheap signings. Ellington is a good shooter for a team that desperately needs more pacing, though the 33-year-old doesn’t do much else. If the 36-year-old Ariza has enough left in the tank, he fits well with other stars.

Ariza and Howard can commiserate on getting pushed off the Lakers following championships only to return later. After Ariza helped them win in 2009, the Lakers let him walk to sign then-Ron Artest. Howard announced his return last year only to get told he didn’t have a contract offer.

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Bulls signing Alex Caruso, Lakers getting Trevor Ariza and Wayne Ellington originally appeared on NBCSports.com