Although he played sparingly throughout the 2022-23 season, Max Christie got the full experience of what it means to play for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Christie saw the Lakers go from a laughingstock to an NBA contender over the course of the year, a rapid change in expectations. The Michigan product got a chance hit the floor for Los Angeles throughout the year, but with so many veterans on the roster, he was forced to watch and observe from the bench like most rookies.
After the playoff wrapped up, Christie spoke with Darvin Ham and Rob Pelinka, who told him that he’s got a shot to crack the rotation for the 2023-24 season.
“They said there’s an opportunity for me to take,” Christie said at his exit interview. “Obviously it’s not gonna be given to me, but there’s an opportunity to have an impact on winning on the floor and be in that rotation for a long part of the season. Obviously that’s my goal, obviously is to play as much basketball as I can in terms of being in the rotation and being on the floor in order to impact winning.
“Really it’s up to me and how hard I’m willing to work this summer and how much I’m willing to improve my game and to be able to come back training camp, summer league, and sort of showcase those skills to not only myself but everybody within the organization. My teammates, the front office, ownership, Coach Ham, all those guys. There’s an opportunity for me to take and all I need to do is work hard enough this summer to take it.”
The Lakers have several free agents who could leave in the offseason, so minutes could open up naturally for Christie. The two-way wing has the makings of an NBA rotation player and could very well be a useful piece in the rotation should he do the things he outlined in the summer.
Christie’s first opportunity to prove he belongs in the league will come at the NBA’s annual Summer League showcases where he said he plans to play. With a full season under his belt, it’ll be interesting to see how much Christie’s improved and he does look like someone that can contribute next season.
Troy Brown Jr. focused on improving offensively
Troy Brown Jr. is one of the players who is set to hit free agency and on paper is someone who is blocking Christie’s path toward more minutes. While Brown’s future in L.A. is uncertain, he’s still planning on working on his all-around offensive game in the offseason.
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