Lakers News: What Can Max Christie Do for the Lakers
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Max Christie is a hardworking young player with the potential to be a key contributor on a Los Angeles Lakers team looking to return to its former glory. Drafted in the 2022 draft in the second round, Christie will be looking to become an integral part of one of the greatest franchises in the history of the NBA. While the Lakers are hoping has can contribute both in the short and long term.

While Christie’s pro pedigree is yet to be tested, current NBA betting odds are already pinning him to be one of the players who can help transform the Lakers and contribute to another title run, perhaps as early as this season.

Who is Max Christie?

Christie is a 19-year-old baller from Illinois who spent a season playing out of Michigan State. While playing for the Spartans, Christie would earn a spot in the Big 10 All-Freshman Team, along with the likes of Bryce McGowans and Chucky Hepburn.

Christie was a five-star recruit before heading to Michigan and was widely regarded as one of, if not the best shooting guard in the 2021 class, although he only played one season for Michigan.

He scored a season-best 21 points in a win against Nebraska and averaged 9.3 points and 3.5 rebounds. He was then drafted with the 35th pick by the Lakers and made his debut in the 2022 Summer League.

In his debut game, he scored five points and nine rebounds in a 100-66 blowout win against the Heat. Shortly after, he signed a rookie-scale contract with the Lakers.

Best Case Career Path

Christie will be a long-term project for the Lakers. This season, he will likely suffer from the same problems most recruits have; he won’t have the speed, strength, or mentality of a pro player just yet.

His first goal should be to get into the rotation and then be a spark of energy off the bench. Many teams would kill to have a player like Christie, who they can bring on to sink a few three-pointers or be a player that can run up and down the court for a quarter or two.

He will need to work on his shooting, and until he is at the physical level he needs to be at, his ball-handling and defensive skills will be on show. This is an area where he shone at Michigan, and the Lakers will be hoping for more of the same.

Worst Case Scenario

The worst-case scenario for Christie is not firing when he needs to. The Lakers aren’t a team that will wait around for you to figure your game out, and there will be added pressure if the likes of Jaden Hardy, a player picked after him, perform well.

A lot of pressure is associated with being picked in the second round. Teams expect you to be a starter, expect you to be physical, and most importantly, expect you to be a reason they win.

He is now part of a team with several world-class perimeter players, and for Christie to stand out, he will have to work harder than he ever has in the past.

Role at the Lakers

As mentioned, Christie will have a limited role, but that doesn’t mean he won’t start immediately. The Lakers have emphasized their need to build young players quickly, especially with their big hitters like Lebron James and Anthony Davis getting older.

Many believe one of the best things Christie can do is play ten minutes a game, split into two shifts. The Lakers, a team desperate for a couple of solid and consistent shooters, will also want him to get his eye in as soon as possible.

Christie has every opportunity to impress, even from the bench. If his shooting isn’t to standard, he can use his tremendous defensive abilities to provide cover. However, if he can find his shooting form, the Lakers will have a player they can bring on whenever they need to sink a few buckets and either build a lead or catch up.

By all accounts, the Lakers got a steal with Christie, whichever way you look. A young, agile shooter who is excellent in defense is precisely the type of player a team in transition needs to perform at the highest level.

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