Lakers Injury News: Max Christie Dealing With Right Hip Strain, Leaving Summer League Status In Jeopardy
Max Christie, Lakers, Summer League
(Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)

Through five combined games of the California Classic and Las Vegas Summer League, Los Angeles Lakers guard Max Christie has clearly shown he’s made the second-year leap typical of young players.

Christie’s development since being drafted in the second round of the 2022 NBA Draft has been remarkable as he almost looks like an entirely different player. After struggling last year in Summer League, the Michigan product has looked more confident with the ball in his hands and has been the team’s most consistent scorer as well as their best perimeter defender.

The organization has raved about Christie’s work ethic and dedication to improving his game and he’s definitely lived up to the praise as he looks more and more like someone who will get minutes in Darvin Ham’s rotation during the 2023-24 season. Even though the Lakers have a crowded backcourt of D’Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves and Gabe Vincent, Christie could slide in as the backup shooting guard or even as small forward in certain lineups.

Watching Christie dominate the summer competition has been fun, but it appears he might get shut down for the remainder of the festivities as he’s been diagnosed with a right hip strain, via Lakers reporter Mike Trudell:

It’s unclear when Christie sustained the injury as he looked to be moving fine in their recent loss to the Boston Celtics, but it’s unfortunate news considering how well he’s been playing. However, there’s no point to a potential rotation player hurting themselves further in Summer League so it’ll be in Los Angeles’ best interest to shut him down.

If Christie does end up sitting out, he put together an impressive string of performances that the team should be encouraged by. It was clear he was playing at a different level compared to the other players in Summer League, and that should bode well for his future playing time.

In five games, he has averaged 19.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists while shooting 49.2% from the field, 55% from 3-point range and 96.8% from the free throw line.

Darvin Ham expects Austin Reaves to be All-Star at some point soon

Christie’s development is similar to the jump that Austin Reaves made in his second year in the league. Reaves managed to build upon a solid close to his rookie season and became arguably the Lakers’ third best player in the playoffs.

Ham has had nothing but praise for Reaves and believes the guard will be an All-Star at some point soon.

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