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Max Christie
Position: G
Born: 02/10/03
Height: 6-6 / 1.98
Weight:190 lbs. / 86.2 kg.
Salary: $1,017,781
If James were to agree to an extension, the Lakers could be more aggressive in trade discussions for players with multiple years remaining on their contracts. If James passes on a long-term deal, the team, at a minimum, has a relatively clean cap sheet next summer with only Anthony Davis and rookie Max Christie under contract. Talen Horton-Tucker and Damian Jones have player options next summer, as well. Any clues about James’ preferences, at this point, are merely guesses.
“Just him showing flashes of being a good perimeter shooter with his shooting mechanics and being able to create his own shot off the dribble,” Buss told The Athletic of Christie’s skill set. “A high-IQ player, obviously, with his size and his length, at the two guard position.” When the Lakers were on the clock after acquiring the No. 35 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, Christie was several spots higher than anyone else remaining on their draft board. Even though they didn’t work him out, they were more than comfortable selecting him after reviewing his film, watching him in person multiple times and interviewing him at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago. “To be able to get a player of his caliber at the 35th pick, we feel really good about it,” Buss said.
“The one thing that’s obviously sticking out is I’m just not making 3-pointers or jump shots right now,” Christie said. Christie made just 20 percent of his 3.1 3-point attempts per game. Factor in his 31.7 percent 3-point shooting during his freshman season at Michigan State, and the recent sample size of Christie shooting outside of high school is concerning. But Christie maintains his confidence has been undeterred. “I’m just not really worried about it,” Christie said. “I know I’m a good 3-point shooter. I think that’ll come with time. That’s probably my biggest strength. It’s just not happening right now.”