Lakers Rumors: L.A. Confident Max Christie Can Grow Into Eighth Or Ninth Man This Season
Max Christie, Lakers
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

With the Los Angeles Lakers’ roster basically set aside from one last piece being added, many have begun looking at how the team’s rotation will shake out. The Lakers made some solid additions to improve their depth, but perhaps the their most intriguing player was already on the roster in second-year guard Max Christie.

Christie showed some flashes last season when forced into minutes due to injury. He then shined in Summer League in Las Vegas, showing off an improved overall skillset and increased confidence, especially as an outside shooter.

Christie developing into the an ideal 3-and-D wing is exactly what the Lakers need and they are confident he can grow into a significant role in the rotation this season, via Jovan Buha of The Athletic:

His ascension is an X-factor in the rotation. If he can continue to develop as a shot creator and playmaker, he has a chance to carve out a significant role given his 3-point shooting and defensive ability. The Lakers are confident he can grow into being the team’s eighth or ninth man next season.

In Las Vegas, Christie averaged 19 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists while knocking down 50% of his 3-point shots and maintaining a defensive presence with 2.3 blocks per game as well. The second-round pick was named to the All-Summer League Second Team and is looking like yet another find for the Lakers scouting department.

But his road to a rotation spot won’t just be given to him. He will have to earn it with his main competition likely coming from free agent addition Cam Reddish. But Buha added that the Lakers are higher on Christie right now as he makes more sense next to the team’s stars:

Christie’s spot in the rotation likely comes down to him versus Cam Reddish. Based on their current strengths and skill sets, Christie makes more sense. The Lakers are higher on him. He’s the better shooter and defender, with more upside.

The Lakers have belief in Christie to become an important piece of their rotation. His defense is his calling card, but his outside jumper has come along greatly as well which was his biggest question mark coming into the league.

If he can continue shooting at a high level, while also being relied upon to defend the opposition’s best players at times, it will be impossible to keep him off the court.

Rob Pelinka expects Max Christie to be a ‘force’ in training camp

The Lakers front office had already been seeing the work Christie was putting in during the offseason before the everyone else saw the results in Summer League and Rob Pelinka is excited about what he can become.

Pelinka noted the extra muscle Christie has added to his frame while adding that he believes the guard can be an elite defender. The Lakers general manager believes that Christie will be a ‘force’ in training camp fighting for rotation minutes.

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