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The Lakers are in the middle of one of their most difficult offseasons in terms of flexibility, but it got off to a great start Thursday night with the surprise addition of Max Christie in the second round. 

After not holding a pick to their name prior to the draft, the Lakers swung a trade with the Magic for one of their two second-round picks, which was later used on Christie. Rotation-caliber players are harder to come by in the second round of the draft, but the Lakers have an excellent scouting department that has a track record of finding gems near the end of the night. 

So what can fans expect from the newest Laker? 


Christie is a 6-foot-6 shooting guard out of Michigan State that was highly regarded entering his freshman season. He has a natural shooting motion that has scouts across the league convinced that he will excel as a perimeter shooter at the next level. Max is also excellent at moving without the ball in his hands. This allows him to be a threat for spot-up jumpers and open threes - two things that he does exceptionally well. While it may take a while for his shooting to really take off at the NBA level, the tools are all there for him to have a successful career in this regard. 

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The one thing that should translate immediately for Christie is his defense. Often tasked with the best player on opposing teams, Max held his own for Michigan State. His 6-foot-9 wingspan allows him to contest most shots and he has some solid footwork for a player his age. Expect the Lakers to take advantage of his youth and length to wear down opposing guards throughout the season. 


Having been a McDonald's All-American in high school, many expected him to be a lock for the first round once he was draft eligible. A less-than-stellar season at Michigan State, however, caused him to drop to the Lakers. 

The biggest concern with Christie is his athleticism and strength. In a league where even point guards are playing a more physical brand of basketball, it might take a while for Max to truly bulk up and unlock his full potential. At 6'6", Christie should be driving to the rim with ease. His inability to body up other players, however, has him resorting to outside jumpers most of the time. 

Final Thoughts

One thing is for certain with Christie - it won't all click overnight. A lot of what makes him an attractive draft pick will come naturally over time, and the Lakers knew that when they drafted him. While having the likes of LeBron and Anthony Davis surrounding him will grant him plenty of open looks, the feel of the game will take time to kick in. 

A good expectation for Christie as he enters his first NBA season is for him to play 15-20 minutes a game and provide some streaky shooting off of the bench. The Lakers want to get younger, and adding a 3-and-D wing who can play off the ball will be huge down the line.