Free agency is a time when teams can take chances to improve their roster for the future. Another way for this to happen is through the draft and development of players. That is what the LA Lakers are hoping to do with some of their younger draft picks. During the 2K24 Summer League, Lakers’ head coach Darvin Ham praised Max Christie’s efforts. He’s “excited” to see what he can bring to the roster next season.
The 20-year-old was the 35th overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft by the Lakers. Max Christie played one season at Michigan State and had plenty of interest heading into the draft. As a rookie with the Lakers last season, he played in 41 games and made three starts.
He split time between the Lakers’ roster and their G League affiliate in 2022-23. Christie has been a fan-favorite during Summer League and his head coach might be ready to let him play a larger role next season.
Summer League or not, Max Christie is looking the part of a rotation player 👀
22 PTS (6-11 FG), 6 REB, 2 AST, and 2 BLK in a very clean game against the Warriors last night 🔥 pic.twitter.com/sG2IEyGbOK
— Lakers All Day Everyday (@LADEig) July 8, 2023
Max Christie’s elite play in Summer League could earn him more playing time next season
In 41 games for the Lakers last season, Max Christie played just (12.5) minutes per game and averaged (3.1) points. During that limited playing time, he proved that he can shoot from range. Christie shot (.419) percent from deep last season with the Lakers as a rookie.
Through two Summer League games this offseason, Christie is stuffing the stat sheet for LA. He’s averaging (16.5) points, (5.5) rebounds, (4.0) assists, and (3.0) blocks. The former second-round pick has also improved his three-point shooting percentage this summer.
Christie is shooting an elite (.571) percent from beyond the arc through his first two Summer League games. He’s clearly worked on improving his overall game this offseason and wants more playing time in 2023-24. With his elite play this far, Darvin Ham shouldn’t have a problem using Christie in an expanded role.