Lakers Land a Second-Round Steal in Max Christie

Ryan Phillips
Max Christie, 2022 NBA Draft
Max Christie, 2022 NBA Draft / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Lakers bought a second-round pick just before the 2022 NBA Draft kicked off Thursday night. They'll walk away from it with a steal in Michigan State guard Max Christie.

Christie, a smooth 6-foot-6 wing, was the selection at No. 35 after the Lakers sent the Orlando Magic a future second-round pick. A five-star recruit in 2021, Christie didn't light it up as a freshman, averaging 9.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 30.8 minutes per game. He only shot 38.2 percent from the field and 31.7 percent from beyond the arc. He did hit 82.4 percent of his free throws, which scouts will tell you is a great indicator of future NBA 3-point shooting ability.

The 19-year-old was a candidate to return to East Lansing for what could have been a breakout sophomore season, but wound up jumping into the deep end. The Lakers snapped him up in the second round and they clearly see what's obvious on film.

If you watch Christie move it's clear he's smooth with a great feel for the game. His shooting stroke is picture perfect and his offensive instincts are excellent. He plays with pace but can occasionally get ahead of himself. That's not strange for a guy his age.

Christie has good size and his 6-foot-9 wingspan helps him on defense. His low-end is probably a decent 3-and-D man off the bench. But if he develops he can be a scorer off the wing who can defend. There's a ton of upside here.