Golden State Warriors should steer clear of long-desired trade target

Chicago Bulls v Golden State Warriors
Chicago Bulls v Golden State Warriors / Kavin Mistry/GettyImages

The Golden State Warriors have long held interest in Alex Caruso, with the franchise having reportedly had serious trade conversation regarding the Chicago Bulls' guard at February's mid-season deadline.

On the surface Caruso is a Warrior-style player -- high IQ, good passer, capable ball-handler and shooter, and as absolutely elite perimeter defender. There's very obvious on-court reasons why the Warriors would be interested, not to mention his incredibly team-friendly contract that sees him make $9.9 million next season.

Failing another more significant deal beforehand, the Golden State Warriors should avoid trading for Alex Caruso this offseason

With Golden State looking to retool their roster this offseason, Caruso has again become a proposed target according to Bleacher Report's Zach Buckley. In a recent article looking at one trade idea for every team, Buckley suggested the Bulls send Caruso and Nikola Vucevic to the Warriors for Andrew Wiggins, the number 52 pick, and a top four protected first-round pick in 2026.

In itself this is a deal that makes a lot of sense -- Caruso is a more valuable player than Wiggins at this point given their respective contracts, while Vucevic would provide an intriguing offensive contrast to the more defensive styles of Trayce Jackson-Davis and Kevon Looney. A 2026 first-round pick may be a steep price to pay, but there's some protection and not too far out to consider that Stephen Curry and Draymond Green wouldn't be valuable contributors in that season.

However, as helpful as Caruso (and Vucevic for that matter) may be, they're far from the high end stars Golden State likely needs to re-enter championship aspirations. The Warriors need to be aiming higher than the Bulls duo -- making this trade would be a major gamble on Jonathan Kuminga, one they should probably avoid given the waning Curry timeline.

Then there's the potentially awkward fit among the rest of the Golden State roster. Caruso and Green overlap a little offensively, while the 30-year-old could also come off the bench alongside other 6'5" or below guards in Brandin Podziemski and Gary Payton II (none of whom are genuine point guards).

Caruso would be a nice addition sure, yet should only materialize as a supplementary piece following a more substantial trade for a star. Any singular trade for a role-player, even a high-level one like Caruso, would simply be papering over some cracks rather than re-building a reinvigorated version of the Warriors and what they're capable of.