As a rookie, second-round pick Max Christie didn’t play a lot of significant minutes for the Los Angeles Lakers this season. But the few times he did get an opportunity, Christie showed flashes of why the Lakers traded into the second-round to draft him with the 35th overall pick.
Christie’s best assets were on the defensive end where he showed that he can guard multiple positions due to his length, speed and athleticism. Offensively, he was also impressive in his limited minutes, showing no fear when given his chances and shot an impressive 41.9% from 3-point range, albeit on limited shot attempts.
Now entering his first real NBA offseason, Christie has the chance to truly grow and he says that will include playing in Summer League.
“Certainly plan to play in the Summer League that’s for sure,” Christie said during his exit interview. “I want to make sure I keep getting my feet wet, make sure I’m just getting as much playing experience as I can.”
Summer League is always a great platform to showcase growth and work on the things a young player needs to improve the most. Especially as a second-year player, the expectation will be for Christie to be one of the best players on the team and he will undoubtedly be one of the most watched.
As far as what he plans to work in the offseason, Christie wants to get better everywhere. “In terms of things to work on, really just everything in general,” the former Michigan State Spartan added.
“Just keep stacking good days, working on my fundamentals, building on the foundation that I laid this season and making sure that I’m getting my work in this summer so that I can come back next season and really make an impact for this team.”
The Lakers will have some decisions to make in free agency this summer and one of the ways they can be fine letting certain players go is if they are confident in Christie developing and being able to be a part of the rotation.
Every team is always looking for two-way wings and Christie improving as a shot maker and creator, while keeping that defensive intensity and ability to guard multiple positions, could lead to him being an extremely important member of the Lakers next year.
Rob Pelinka says Lakers to prioritize keeping core group together
The Lakers have 10 players who will enter free agency this summer, which could lead to some major roster turnover. But general manager Rob Pelinka believes the team has a special group of players and is prioritizing keeping the core together.
“I think keeping that continuity is going to be very important,” Pelinka said. “We ultimately got knocked out by a team that has great continuity. They got a group of players that have been together for several seasons and it shows in the way they play.
“But, that’s a high priority for us. We feel like we’ve got a group of special players in the locker room, they enjoy playing with each other. Darvin enjoys coaching them. We know that there’s more growth and improvement in that group, especially if we get a training camp together. So I would say that’s a high priority to keep our core players together.”
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