The Thunder Are Trading Josh Giddey To The Bulls For Alex Caruso

The first big trade of the 2024 NBA offseason arrived on Thursday, as some stunning news arrived courtesy of ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The Oklahoma City Thunder, fresh off earning the West’s 1-seed, made a trade to acquire Alex Caruso from the Chicago Bulls, sending former top-10 pick Josh Giddey to Chicago in return.

This is a considerable on-court upgrade for the Thunder, who continue to load up on strong defenders up and down their roster. Giddey was targeted consistently in the playoffs for Oklahoma City, and his inability to be a shooting threat collapsed the Thunder’s spacing and made life difficult on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and the OKC offense against Dallas, who effectively ignored Giddey on the perimeter. Caruso has had his ups and downs as a shooter over his career, but knocked down 40.3 percent from deep last season on a career high 4.7 attempts per game. Adding another high-level defender (Caruso was second team All-Defense this past season) who is a more willing and capable shooter is a big boost for the Thunder in their quest to get in the conversation as a title contender next season.

Per Woj, the Bulls wanted to get more playmaking, and that is unquestionably the top attribute for Giddey as a player. He is a tremendous passer and Chicago certainly needs more of that, but as noted, the Thunder struggled in the postseason with their spacing when Giddey was on the floor and the Bulls will now have to crack that code themselves.

Caruso is extension eligible, but not for six months since he was traded, but the expectation is OKC will look to get him locked in long-term as soon as they can, while Giddey is entering the final year of his rookie deal.