In dire need of a youth infusion, the Los Angeles Lakers managed to trade into the second round of the 2022 NBA Draft where they selected Michigan State guard Max Christie with the 35th overall pick.
Christie did not have the most impactful freshman season under Spartans head coach Tom Izzo but flashed an intriguing skillset that matches exactly what the Lakers are looking for. The 19-year-old showed he is a willing defender who projects to guard two or perhaps even three positions at the next level while also displaying solid shooting mechanics. 3-and-D wings are the NBA’s most sought-after commodity, and Christie looks like he could fill that role and more as he develops.
Christie has his fans around the league, including Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green. After the Lakers selected Christie, Green said the rookie would be named an All-Star at some point after he was also drafted 35th, via his Twitter account:
Another 35th pick from Michigan State. History says he’s going to be an All-Star 🤷🏿♂️
— Draymond Green (@Money23Green) June 24, 2022
The similarities are there between the two players, though Green’s comment can be considered more tongue-in-cheek than serious. That’s not to say that Christie can’t become an All-Star someday, though it is a bold statement to make about someone who has yet to play an NBA game yet.
However, the Lakers sure seem high on the young guard as Rob Pelinka revealed he was the unanimous choice by team brass. Normally individual team members will need to pound the table for their guy, but in this case, everyone seemed aligned on Christie which speaks to their long-term outlook.
All-Star projections aside, Christie is the exact type of prospect L.A. needed to go after considering their lack of youth and assets down the road. It’s hard to imagine Christie being able to come in and help immediately, but he could turn into a very useful player down the road.
After being drafted by L.A., Christie was notified of Green’s tweet and appreciated it.
“I actually didn’t see that tweet. But now that I’m hearing about it, that’s actually really cool. Props to Draymond for that,” Christie said. “But yeah, obviously, he was the 35th pick as well. So it’s really cool to sort of have him, you know, shout me out and treat me like that.”
Max Christie says he’s living his dream of playing with historic players
It must be a surreal experience for Christie to now be teammates with players he grew up watching. The roster is mostly composed of veteran players and he admitted that he’s living his dream of being able to play alongside several future Hall of Famers.
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