The perfect trade candidate the Philadelphia 76ers should pursue

Bulls guard Alex Caruso was on the market at a high price at the previous deadline, but the 76ers should explore ways to bring him in Philadelphia.
Chicago Bulls v Philadelphia 76ers
Chicago Bulls v Philadelphia 76ers / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

The Philadelphia 76ers will try to build their new team around Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey. As a result, they will need to bring valuable starters in addition to extra star power in the offseason. Alas, it was already made clear by reports around the league that the front office will pursue a third-string star this offseason with Paul George being the primary target.

However, as we can see with the example of the Phoenix Suns, a superstar trio needs to be supported by a group that fit its needs. Alex Caruso of the Chicago Bulls is certainly a player that will be pursued this offseason if the Chicago Bulls make him available in the market. The Bulls are in a tough position after suffering two consecutive play-in exits in the last two years.

Alex Caruso has value as an asset for them heading to the last year of his current deal. The 76ers will have to move something of importance in order to be among the NBA teams with a chance to snag Caruso. The former Lakers guard is considered to be one of the best perimeter defenders in the league. Philadelphia will be eager to cover that need going forward after watching Jalen Brunson destroying them in the postseason.

Caruso is coming off a career year averaging a career-high 10.1 points on 40.8 percent shooting on almost five attempts from the three-point distanc, which is also a career best as he remained healthy for most of the season. The defense was plummeting without him, as Chicago posted a Defensive Rating of 117.0 points with him off the floor, per Their rating was dropping down to 110.9 per 100 possessions with him being active.

Caruso was a two-way sensation this season for the Bulls and the Philadelphia 76ers need those around Embiid and Maxey. Maxey appeared to be guarding Jalen Brunson on some occasions during the playoff series with the Knicks, while, on some instances, he was the first-option in the offensive end to keep the Sixers afloat. De'Anthony Melton only played seven minutes in the series coming back from a back injury and was a non-factor in the second part of the season.

What would the 76ers need to give up in a deal for Alex Caruso?

The Sixers replenished some of their draft capital in the James Harden deal. They can put it in use as the Chicago Bulls will likely explore their options, especially if DeMar DeRozan decide to not sign back with them this summer. If the Bulls blow it out, then Alex Caruso will be among the most sought after assets they have.

During February's trade deadline, a report from NBA insider Marc Stein revealed that the Bulls “gave a real consideration” trading Caruso. The 2020 NBA champion is currently on his last year of the 4-year deal he signed in the 2021 offseason worth around $36 million. According to Stein, the Warriors appeared to be in the run for the 30-years old swingman last February.

Apparently, a deal was never concluded due to the Bulls demands, but, with Caruso entering the last year of his contract, Chicago could want fewer assets to agree to a trade. That said, the 76ers can only trade their 2024 pick after they proceed with a choice, but it will be a selection near the lottery considering that they were the 7th seed in the East.

Philly will have just two players under contract in Joel Embiid and Paul Reed and they are not possessing any young promising players that can throw in to lure away the veteran swingman. However, the Bulls might be more interested in draft picks to retool their roster, which is getting increasingly old and has stuck in mediocrity for the past two years.

It remains to be seen if president of basketball operation Daryl Morey can figure out a formula to bring in top-notch pieces after an early first-round exit. The 76ers will need to become grittier as a team going against the likes of Boston and New York, among many others, next season, and Caruso should be on the top of their list, especially if he's available in trade market.

Next. bridges trade. Grade the Trade: 76ers land highly coveted wing in proposed all-in move. dark