Lakers News: Jesse Buss Explains Decision To Take Max Christie In 2022 NBA Draft
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers may have had a rough couple of seasons, but one strength of the franchise has been their ability to scout and draft productive prospects.

This past year was no different when they acquired a second-round pick in the 2022 NBA Draft to take Max Christie.

Christie profiles as a rangy 3-and-D wing with considerable upside considering his age. Assistant general manager and director of scouting Jesse Buss has been primarily responsible for the team’s draft success and he acknowledged how high he and the staff were on Christie, via Mike Trudell of Lakers.com:

“We were looking at two or three players, all who we had first round grades on. Max was highest on the board. But it was definitely close. There were a lot of talented guys left on the board. We felt comfortable with Max because getting him here with Coach Ham and his staff, Max is going to develop into a pretty good player, long term, for us.”

Christie has an impressive resume dating back to high school, and Buss noted that he stood out to him early on:

“Max has been a highly-touted player since his high school days. He participated in a lot of All-America camps, in addition to the McDonalds All-America game. I actually watched him play live for the first time over three years ago at the SC 30 camp, where a lot of the high school players participate. I felt he was one of the players that stood out most from that camp. You’re talking about all different ages, all different classes, including many lottery picks. He was one of the standouts.”

With a host of veteran players in front of him, Christie will likely spend most of the 2022-23 season developing in the G-League. However, there’s a clear path for him in the near future to contribute and it will be exciting to see what kind of player he develops into.

Jesse Buss breaks down Max Christie’s game

In the modern NBA, 3-and-D wings are a premium archetype and Christie has the skills to eventually become a great one in the league. Buss has proven he knows what to look out for when scouting players, and he broke down how Christie might look at the professional level:

“From a talent perspective. There was a lot of room for growth with him. At a young age, he had a pretty good handle, a pretty good mid-range game. I think he can develop into a pretty good shooter at the NBA level. (Legendary scout and Lakers assistant coach/advisor) Bill Bertka always says, “He has true size for his position.” For a two guard with Christie’s height (6’6’’) and length, he really is true to his position. He’s not a guy that’s undersized. And we think he can guard multiple positions once he’s able to get stronger. He’s a good athlete – he tested as one of the best athletes at his position at the combine, vertically and agility wise, and we think he has pretty good length. He can be a disruptor on that end.”

It may be a while before the Lakers see what Christie can do at the NBA level, but he projects to be the exact type of the player the team can use.

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