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Rookie Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Max Christie had an inaugural preseason game performance that in a lot of ways was par for the course for a first-year player. He simultaneously gave fans a peak into why L.A. was high on him this summer and showed why he still has a lot of room for improvement.

During a lopsided 105-75 preseason home loss to the Sacramento Kings Monday, Christie played major minutes in the game's second half, along with rookie L.A. two-way players Scotty Pippen Jr. and Cole Swider. In 25:23 minutes on the floor, Christie shot just 2-of-8 from the field (0-of-2 from deep) for five points, but also grabbed six boards, and three assists (against two turnovers).

Although he had a patchy shooting night, Christie did flash some promising athleticism in his preseason debut, as evinced below in this clip, where he blew by ex-Laker Malik Monk to rock the rim:

The 6'6" swingman, 19, played for just one season under Tom Izzo before declaring for the 2022 draft. He averaged a modest 9.3 points a game on .382/.317/.824 shooting splits, plus 3.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.5 steals, and 0.5 blocks.

Lakers assistant GM and co-owner Jesse Buss, team governor Jeanie Buss's youngest brother, spoke with scribe Mike Trudell about the front office's thought process in using its lone draft pick this season, No. 35, to select Christie out of Michigan State University this year.

"There was a lot of room for growth with him. At a young age, he had a pretty good handle, a pretty good mid-range game. I think he can develop into a pretty good shooter at the NBA level. [Lakers assistant coach and consultant] Bill Bertka always says, “He has true size for his position.” For a two guard with Christie’s height and length, he really is true to his position. He’s not a guy that’s undersized. And we think he can guard multiple positions once he’s able to get stronger. He’s a good athlete – he tested as one of the best athletes at his position at the combine, vertically and agility-wise, and we think he has pretty good length. He can be a disruptor on that end."

Like a lot of second-round prospects, Christie could be more of a long-term project than a day-one contributor during his first NBA season. Over the course of his eight Summer League games for L.A., Christie averaged 7.4 points a game while shooting below 30% from the floor. Beyond getting some spot minutes, Christie will most likely be riding the pine most nights, beyond current probable starter Kendrick Nunn and reserves Lonnie Walker IV and Austin Reaves.