The Los Angeles Lakers have done well to add young talent to the roster despite a lack of first-round picks.
This past draft, the Lakers took a shot on Max Christie out of Michigan State in the second round because of his upside as a 3-and-D wing. Christie has the sort of physical profile that teams will happily gamble on, and he’s even started to see minutes in recent games as head coach Darvin Ham searches for a spark.
Even though he’s young and inexperienced, Ham believes Christie can be a contributor this year. “Well you know, you don’t want to go too fast and get ahead of yourself, he is a rookie after all. But in saying that, he’s just a smart kid. He comes from a great program at Michigan State, have a ton of respect for Coach Izzo and the type of guys he’s able to produce out of his program. Players and coaches for that matter.
“But Max is just a guy that’s a great sweetheart of a kid, works his tail off every day, tries to get it right defensively, has some really good natural physical gifts. He’s athletic, pretty good shooting touch, and now it’s just a matter of him getting game reps and building that confidence up to where he can be impactful. But he is a smart enough player where you can throw him out there regardless of his lack of experience or his age and he can make it work for you. He can blend right in and do his part and not try to do too much, play within himself and be a good source of production for us.”
In the loss to the Sacramento Kings, Christie took over Kendrick Nunn’s place in the rotation. The rookie played 17 minutes and recorded seven points and four rebounds, knocking down a pair of 3-pointers.
Perhaps it’s an indictment on the roster that Christie is being called upon so early, but at the very least it’s good for his development long term. The young wing has shown flashes in his limited appearances, and it’ll be fun to watch him grow as the season goes on.
LeBron James prefers Lakers make moves now to improve roster
The front office finds itself in a precarious spot as the team tumbles toward the bottom of the standings. The organization must weight whether or not it’s worth making a move to salvage the season, but LeBron James may force their hand as he reportedly wants them to make a deal now.
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