2022-23 Los Angeles Lakers Player Review: Max Christie
Max Christie, Lakers
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers entered the 2022 NBA Draft without a draft pick, but ended up with the No. 35 overall pick after purchasing it from the Orlando Magic. With the selection, the Lakers took Michigan State swingman Max Christie.

Christie had a good year for the Spartans as he flashed the prototypical 3-and-D skillset that every team covets. At 6’5″ with good length, Christie made perfect sense for Los Angeles to take as he could learn behind all the veterans on the roster.

The then 19-year-old got his first taste of professional action in the California Classic and later appeared in Las Vegas for the 2022 NBA Summer League. His jump shot left much to be desired, but Christie had great defensive instincts and looked solid overall.

However, once the 2022-23 season officially kicked off, Christie was predictably buried on the bench as Darvin Ham looked to more of his experienced players to fill out his rotation. Christie did manage to appear on Opening Night, though it was in garbage time as Los Angeles suffered a blowout loss to the defending champions the Golden State Warriors.

Christie would continue to play sparingly or rack up coaching DNPs until he was eventually assigned to the Lakers’ G League affiliate the South Bay Lakers. In the G League, Christie really began to grow and develop as a player and was a key part of South Bay’s playoff run.

In sparing minutes across 41 games for the Lakers, Christie averaged 3.1 points and 1.8 rebounds while shooting 41.9% from 3 on 1.5 attempts per game.

Overall, it was a quiet year for Christie though he did get valuable experience seeing what the postseason was like. With a year now under his belt, the Michigan State product should be ready to contribute more in the 2023-24 campaign.

2022-23 Highlight

With the Lakers missing several key players, Christie drew a start in January against the Denver Nuggets. Christie looked great in extended minutes, playing loose and free while also picking his spots well offensively.

The rookie would score his season and career-high in points with 14, shooting an efficient 6-of-8 from the field including 2-of-3 from beyond the arc. Although the purple and gold lost, it was a great performance from Christie who showed what he could do against NBA-level competition.

2023-24 Outlook

By all accounts, Christie seems ready to handle more meaningful minutes though he’s going to have to earn them. While the team has several decisions to make on players and free agents, there will still be people competing with Christie for a spot in the rotation. However, if he puts in the requisite work over the summer there’s no reason why he shouldn’t see more playing time.

He has already said that he plans on playing in Summer League, which will give him a chance to show what he’s been working on.

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