Bulls, Thunder Complete Trade Featuring Alex Caruso, Josh Giddey

Josh Giddey, Alex Caruso, Oklahoma City Thunder, Chicago Bulls, NBA News
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA trade market has already heated up ahead of the draft, which begins on June 26. The Chicago Bulls and Oklahoma City Thunder have already agreed on a sizeable deal.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Bulls will send Alex Caruso to the Thunder in exchange for Josh Giddey. No additional players or assets were included in this trade from either side. Caruso will earn $9.9 million in the final year of his contract, while Giddey is entering the final year of his rookie contract and will earn $8.3 million.

Additional reporting from Wojnarowski explained Chicago’s rationale for the trade: finding a young playmaker to replace Lonzo Ball and viewing him as having untapped All-Star potential in a different setting.

“The Bulls have been determined to find a playmaker to replace Lonzo Ball, and Giddey, 21, comes with an All-Star potential that would unlikely be realized with the Thunder because of the playmaking starpower who surrounded him,” Wojnarowski wrote. “The Bulls will offer him an opportunity to have the ball in his hands and so much more freedom pass and score.”

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Alex Caruso, Chicago Bulls, Josh Giddey, Oklahoma City Thunder Updates

Caruso has solidified himself as a reliable perimeter shooting threat and one of the NBA’s most impactful on-ball defenders, making him a strong fit for the complementary role Giddey played next to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Chet Holmgren. This season, Caruso averaged 10.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 3.5 assists while shooting 46.8% overall and 40.8% from the perimeter.

Looking ahead, Caruso will be eligible to sign a four-year, $80 million contract, and Oklahoma City intends to retain him for the long term. Meanwhile, Giddey is already eligible to sign a rookie-scale extension with the Bulls. He averaged 12.3 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 4.8 assists in 25.1 minutes per game while appearing in 80 games. He shot 47.5% from the floor despite shooting 33.7% from beyond the arc.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Alex Caruso, Chicago Bulls, Josh Giddey, Oklahoma City Thunder Updates

The trade signals a win-now focus for the Thunder, aligning with their intent to add complementary players around their core players. Oklahoma City lost to the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference semifinals. Meanwhile, Chicago must find a long-term direction in roster construction, and adding young talent only helps.

Oklahoma City hired an expensive shooting consultant, Chip Engelland, to work closely with Giddey, who was known for his success with the San Antonio Spurs. While Giddey did show flashes of improvement, the Mavericks treated him as the weak shooter to load the paint in the playoffs, which contributed to their loss in the series.

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