NBA Trades: Grading the out-of-nowhere Thunder and Bulls Giddey-Caruso swap 

Chicago Bulls v Brooklyn Nets
Chicago Bulls v Brooklyn Nets / Mike Stobe/GettyImages
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The NBA offseason has officially begun! In what is the first significant offseason move in the league, the Chicago Bulls and Oklahoma City Thunder agreed to swap guards in Alex Caruso and Josh Giddey. This was a straight-up trade with no picks or other players involved, first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

In this deal, the Thunder got an experienced 30-year-old All-NBA defender in Caruso who was a huge part of the Los Angeles Lakers championship rotation in 2020. Meanwhile, the Bulls finally dealt their long sought-after asset that no longer fits their timeline and will replace him with a 21-year-old playmaker who has fringe all-star upside in Giddey.

Thunder General Manager, Sam Presti, has reportedly been interested in Caruso for years and the coveted role player will be able to slide nicely into Oklahoma City’s starting lineup or come off of their bench as a 6th man if needed. Some are saying that this acquisition of Caruso could be viewed similarly as when the Golden State Warriors brought in Andre Iguodala in 2013.

While not a perfect comparison with Iguodala being a one-time all-star and having much more offensive prowess than Caruso, the defensive chops of Caruso more than live up to Iguodala. Additionally, both players were 30 years old at the time of their trade and still in their prime.

Giddey is the first Bulls player that was acquired via trade in August of 2021. Infamously, Chicago’s front office sat back at the trade deadline for the third year in a row and did not deal with Caruso, Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, or Andre Drummond, among other assets. After getting a plethora of different trade offers, the Bulls finally landed on an asset they liked in Giddey.

As currently constructed, Chicago will likely start the young Aussie alongside DeRozan, LaVine, Nikola Vucevic, and Coby White… At the same time, more Bulls moves could be on the horizon.This is an interesting trade all-around, but who won the transaction and what trade grades do Chicago and Oklahoma City get for this rare one-for-one player swap?