The Miami Heat have rectified their 1-4 start to the 2023-24 regular season by winning their last five games.
But an Eastern Conference executive believes that the team needs a guard in the “worst way” and is eyeing a trade for Chicago Bulls defensive ace Alex Caruso.
“They need a guard in the worst way,” the Eastern Conference executive told Heavy Sports. “They’re not out there beating the bushes for a trade or anything, that is not how they operate. They’re going to say they like Josh [Richardson] and they like Dru Smith, and all of that. But they’ve got to be concerned and if the Bulls let it be known that Alex Caruso can be traded, they’d have to be the first in line. He is an Erik Spoelstra kind of guy all the way. They have an eye on him, for sure. We all do.”
Caruso has long been considered one of the better perimeter defenders in the NBA. He is in his third season as a member of the Bulls after playing the first four seasons of his pro career with the storied Los Angeles Lakers franchise.
An unnamed NBA executive speculated earlier this month that the Lakers could look to bring Caruso back to Los Angeles.
In nine games played with the Bulls so far this season, Caruso is averaging 7.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 59.1 percent from the field, 44.0 percent from behind the 3-point arc and 63.6 percent from the free-throw line.
Caruso’s numbers don’t necessarily jump off the page, but he is a rare breed of player in the sense that the full extent of his contributions on both ends of the floor go beyond the stat sheet.
The Philadelphia 76ers — who have won eight games in a row — are the only team in the Eastern Conference with a longer winning streak than the Heat right now. Miami’s five wins during its streak have come against the Washington Wizards, Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, Atlanta Hawks and San Antonio Spurs.
The Heat played their most recent game against the Spurs on Sunday and went on to win by five points. Duncan Robinson scored 26 points while shooting 8-of-16 from the field and 4-of-7 from behind the 3-point line. Also, big man Bam Adebayo chipped in 24 points, while Jimmy Butler scored 19 points.
Keldon Johnson led the Spurs with 20 points and shot 8-of-18 from the field.
Miami should pounce on the opportunity to trade for Caruso if the Bulls make him available for trade between now and the trade deadline.
After all, Caruso has proven himself to be a winning player who does a little bit of everything for his team on the court.