After spending a week in health and safety protocols, Max Christie appears set to rejoin the Lakers on Friday. As a result, the Lakers could have their full roster — excluding two-way players — available to them for the first time this season as well.
ESPN Sources: Lakers guard Max Christie has cleared Covid protocols and is traveling to San Antonio to rejoin the team. Christie, who had been in protocols for a week, is expected to be available to play vs. the Spurs on Friday.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 23, 2022
Christie entered health and safety protocols last Wednesday, making it exactly a week he spent away from the team. While his season averages appear modest this season so far in his rookie campaign, Christie was in the rotation when he entered health and safety protocols.
It’s not a given, though, that he returns directly into the rotation. His minutes came largely at a time when the Lakers did not have LeBron James and he also appears likely to return to the lineup on Friday. Also during his absence, the pair of Dennis Schröder and Thomas Bryant has returned to the rotation as well and have gotten regular minutes.
Simply put, the minutes available to Christie may not be there anymore. Having him as a wing option will be nice and he could still find minutes. For example, Kendrick Nunn played nine minutes on Tuesday and remains rather ineffective. Could those minutes be given to Christie?
This underlies a larger positive point in that the Lakers have more options available to them now than at any point this season. The one-time caveat is that Patrick Beverley will almost certainly face a suspension after his incident on Tuesday against the Suns, but everyone will be healthy for the first time all year. It’s baby steps with this team, but they’re nearly back to full strength.