Alex Caruso

Bulls trade Alex Caruso to Oklahoma City Thunder for Josh Giddey

Caruso earned his second All-Defensive team honors this past season

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The Chicago Bulls are trading All-Defensive guard Alex Caruso to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Josh Giddey, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Chicago's K.C. Johnson.

Caruso is extension eligible for a four-year contract close to $79 million in total value six months from the day of his trade. This past season, he made his second consecutive NBA All-Defensive team. He also earned top-10 voting for the league's Defensive Player of the Year award.

The Bulls have taken and passed on trade offers for Caruso for some time. Dating back to the beginning of last season, the Bulls have steadily rebuked trade offers for Caruso, Johnson reported in November 2023.

He's widely viewed around the league as a valuable piece for contending teams who need perimeter defense --- a limited service in the NBA of Caruso's pedigree. The Bulls have always received interest in Caruso, but their commitment to remaining competitive themselves has always waned their interest in dealing him.

With the Thunder, Caruso gets a chance to compete for his second ring, after winning with the Lakers during the 2020 season. They finished first place in the Western Conference last season, posting a 57-25 record. The Thunder advanced past the Pelicans in the first round but were subsequently halted by the Western Conference champion Mavericks.

For the Bulls, they get a fresh face in Giddey, 21, the 6-foot-8 Australian point guard going into his fourth season in the NBA. Initially drafted with the No. 6 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft by the Thunder, Giddey is known for his abilities as a floor general and pass-first guard.

Over the first three years of his young career, Giddey has averaged 13.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5.7 assists. He's shooting a career 46.4% from the floor and 31% from beyond the arc, the latter of which is a steady improvement from his rookie mark of 26.3 percent.

Trading for Giddey is a long-term play. They'll have his contract situation to think about immediately, as he's playing on the final season of his rookie deal that's slated to make him $8.3 million this season. He's rookie extension eligible until the start of next season. If no extension is reached, he will become a restricted free agent next summer.

It's worth noting last season Giddey was accused of maintaining an inappropriate relationship with an underage girl. But in January, The Newport Beach, California, Police Department said that it was "unable to corroborate any criminal activity." Giddey never faced any punishment from the league and played through the accusations.

*MORE: Bulls active as NBA Draft nears

There are several variables at hand this offseason for the Bulls, who own the No. 11 pick in the upcoming 2024 NBA Draft next week. There's been talk of the Bulls moving up or back in the draft. Remaining at their current spot is also an option, Johnson reported earlier on Thursday.

The organization is also focused on trading Zach LaVine this offseason, Johnson reported. Sources told Johnson Artūras Karnišovas has floated as many as 15 trade proposals around to various teams including the Kings, Jazz, Magic and 76ers.

The Bulls also have the contract situations of DeMar DeRozan and Patrick Williams, both of whom could become free agents in July, to figure out. Caruso's trade is seemingly the tip of the iceberg for a front office keen on fixing a roster that's missed the playoffs in back-to-back seasons.

Check back to this story for more updates.

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