What would Alex Caruso have looked like on the Detroit Pistons?

After reports surfaced that the Detroit Pistons were offered Alex Caruso at the trade deadline, how would he have been utilized here?

It was recently reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic (subscription required) that the Lakers offered the Detroit Pistons draft compensation and Alex Caruso in exchange for Derrick Rose.

It was clear that Rose didn’t want to be dealt from Detroit, and the Lakers don’t have too much future draft capital that they could have sent to the Pistons to begin with.

While there are a multitude of reasons that one could argue that this would or would not have been a good deal for the Pistons, the fact remains that it did not happen.

Up until that report came out, we hadn’t heard a single thing about what the market on Rose actually was

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If it did, Detroit would find themselves in an interesting predicament. Depending on the timing of the trade, there’s a chance that they maybe wouldn’t have gotten a deal done with the Cavaliers in the Andre Drummond exchange. Brandon Knight was needed in order to match salaries.

Considering how last minute that deal got done, maybe Drummond would have remained a Piston.

However, this train of though requires some pretty extensive thinking so for all intents and purposes lets assume that the Drummond trade still happened, and the Rose deal went through as well.

Assuming the Reggie Jackson buyout would have still happened, which it most likely would have, Detroit would have Knight, Caruso, Bruce Brown, and Jordan Bone at point guard.

With Dwane Casey preferring that Brown continues to develop as a shooting guard, we can relegate him back to that position in the rotation here.

Caruso has been the subject of one of the biggest hype trains in the history of basketball, largely due to the prevalence of social media and the fact that his journey has been an unconventional one.

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He truly is pretty fun to watch. While his coverage has gone a bit over the top for someone playing in a second unit, his stature in the league remains all the same.

He’s played valuable minutes for the Lakers all season, playing 18.1 minutes per game while averaging 5.6 points on 42.7 percent shooting. His numbers aren’t substantial by any means but he can really impact a game.

There are moments intermittently throughout every Lakers game that he gives more effort than anyone else on the floor. Whether it’s diving after a loose ball, boxing out opponents, or out-hustling them in transition, he’s proven he truly does belong in the league.

He’s a smart cutter, and he moves beautifully away from the ball. This could have added an interesting element to the Pistons offense.

Detroit would have likely gone with Knight as their starter, with Caruso coming off of the bench. If they needed to, Brown could be the third man in the rotation unless they decided to give Bone some run which hasn’t really happened much this season.

One issue that would immediately arrive is the Pistons not having a definitive ball handler. Knight and Caruso can run pick and rolls, but they struggle with them.

Caruso’s athleticism is worth noting here, as he’s often best utilized off the ball. Because of this, maybe in a weird situation the Pistons would have actually flipped the duties of both he and Brown.

At 26 years old, Caruso could have been part of the Pistons rebuild. It’s often lost on a lot of people that he’s genuinely a great contributor, but with fans growing tired of his constant media coverage, they discredit his input.

Would he have been a serviceable addition to a struggling Detroit team? Yes. Would he have been a quality enough return for Rose? In principle, he himself would have been pretty decent. However, once again the draft capital attached matters just as much if not more.

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With Los Angeles not having too much to give away in the time frame that the Pistons would like to have completed their rebuild, it’s hard to imagine Detroit’s front office took too much time to decline this offer.

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