Even ahead of the Lakers decided on rookie Max Christie thirty fifth general on this 12 months’s draft, their objective was once to procure a player who might be on the group long-term. The scouting division, spearheaded by way of Lakers assistant basic supervisor and co-owner Jesse Buss, searched for a prospect who embodied the fashionable taste of basketball, which supposed any person who possessed awesome taking pictures abilities, dimension, athleticism, protection, and duration.
It simply so came about that Christie has been on Buss’ radar since 2019, when the Michigan State product stood out and earned a gold medal in the U16 USA group at the FIBA Americas. Three years later, the 19-year-old was once touted as one in every of the easiest shooters in his draft magnificence and introduced forged two-way possible at the NBA Draft Combine that was once too tricky for Buss to move up on.
In a contemporary 1-on-1 interview with Lakers.com’s Mike Trudell, Buss published that the Lakers selected to gamble on Christie’s long-term construction as they imagine Christie would thrive underneath Darvin Ham’s device and visions for the provide and long run.
MT: To zoom in in this 12 months’s select, what was once the concept procedure on draft day?
Buss: We have been taking a look at two or 3 gamers, all who we had first spherical grades on. Max was once absolute best on the board. But it was once surely shut. There have been a lot of proficient guys left on the board. We felt ok with Max as a result of getting him right here with Coach Ham and his group of workers, Max goes to develop into a beautiful good player, longer term, for us.
Buss: From a ability standpoint. There was once a lot of room for expansion with him. At a younger age, he had a beautiful good deal with, a beautiful good mid-range sport. I believe he can develop into a beautiful good shooter at the NBA point. (Legendary scout and Lakers assistant trainer/consultant) Bill Bertka all the time says, “He has true size for his position.” For a two guard with Christie’s peak (6’6’’) and duration, he in point of fact is correct to his place. He’s now not a man that’s undersized. And we predict he can guard a couple of positions as soon as he’s ready to get more potent. He’s a good athlete – he examined as one in every of the easiest athletes at his place at the mix, vertically and agility-wise, and we predict he has beautiful good duration. He can be a disruptor on that finish.
Banking on a prospect this is miles clear of being an quick contributor for this present Lakers roster was once for sure a daring selection. But if Christie, who Rob Pelinka mentioned was once the unanimous draft selection by way of the entrance place of work, manages to be an quick key contributor and adjusts to the recreation’s absolute best point as briefly as Austin Reaves did closing season, then that may be a welcome sight and enormous benefit for Los Angeles this season.
Christie is coming off a one-and-done season with the Spartans when he averaged 9.3 issues on 31.7% 3-point taking pictures in 35 video games. His handful of appearances in Summer League this previous July left a lot to be desired as his inexperience and power deficit compared to his friends have been uncovered. It additionally didn’t lend a hand that he most effective made 20% of his 3.1 3-point makes an attempt in keeping with sport closing summer time, which most effective proved that he’s nonetheless a developmental player in the making.
Max Christie’s Points Per Possession by way of sport between the California Classic & Vegas SL:
G1 (MIA): 0.38
G2 (GSW): 0.89
G3 (SAC): 0.56
G4 (PHX): 0.82
G5 (CHA): 0.83
G6 (LAC): 0.53
G7 (NOP): 1.20
His D has been a consistent. We want extra G7 sort scoring potency from him!
— Cranjis McBasketball (@Tim_NBA) July 16, 2022
Despite Christie’s uneventful summer time league efficiency, he nonetheless confirmed glimpses of his possible. Aside from his well-advertised taking pictures, the rookie has the skill to have an effect on the sport along with his duration, defensive skill, and grit. His on-ball protection, easy floater and cunning ball-handling abilities, particularly, must permit him to face out in due time.
Ultimately, Christie was once selected by way of the Lakers to be a long-term mission, so getting high-level manufacturing from him this season is a bonus. Only time will inform if the rookie was once value risking the thirty fifth select for and if Jesse Buss as soon as once more struck gold on this 12 months’s draft.
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