Chicago Bulls trade Alex Caruso to Oklahoma City Thunder, receive Josh Giddey in return

The trade marks a homecoming for Caruso, who started his career with the franchise

MIAMI, FLORIDA - APRIL 19: Alex Caruso #6 of the Chicago Bulls looks on against the Miami Heat in the first quarter during the Play-In Tournament at Kaseya Center on April 19, 2024 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Rich Storry/Getty Images)

The Chicago Bulls and Oklahoma City Thunder agreed to a trade on Thursday, with the Bulls sending Alex Caruso in exchange for Josh Giddey. The teams announced the deal on Friday.

Caruso signed a four-year, $37 million contract in 2021; entering the final year of that contract made him a popular trade prospect, with the expectation that the Bulls would send him somewhere before the 2024-2025 season began.

With the trade, Caruso returns to Oklahoma City, where he began his pro career on the Oklahoma City Blue, then part of the NBA's Development League. Additionally, current Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault, who coached the Blue from 2014 to 2019, coached Caruso during the 2016-2017 season.

The Thunder, meanwhile, receive a big defensive presence in Caruso, a veteran point guard who's received NBA All-Defensive Team honors twice and who was an NBA champion with the 2020 Lakers. Caruso averaged 10.1 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists this season.

Chicago receives Giddey, who was named NBA All-Rookie Second Team in 2022, with the hope that the young Australian guard will be able to join the team as a playmaker. Giddey was a strong presence for the Thunder off the bench this season, averaging 12.3 points, 6.4 rebounds and 4.8 assists in a little over 25 minutes.

Giddey will also seemingly work as a replacement for Lonzo Ball, who has been out since January 2022 with an ongoing knee injury.

The Chicago Bulls had a relatively mediocre season in 2023-24, going 39-43 and qualifying for the play-in tournament before losing to the Miami Heat. Oklahoma City, meanwhile, dominated the Western Conference, going 57-25, earning the No. 1 seed and advancing to the conference semifinals, where the Thunder ultimately lost to the Dallas Mavericks.