The Los Angeles Lakers have officially signed rookie guard Max Christie to their roster, the team announced in a press release shortly before their first game of Las Vegas Summer League on Friday.
Christie, the No. 35 pick in the 2022 class, averaged 6.0 points per game on 6-24 shooting over three games at the California Classic exhibition tournament in San Francisco last week.
From the Lakers’ press release:
The Los Angeles Lakers have signed Max Christie, it was announced today by Vice President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Rob Pelinka. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not released.
Christie appeared in 35 games (all starts) in his lone season at Michigan State last year, averaging 9.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 30.8 minutes. The 2021-22 Big Ten All-Freshman Team selection scored in double figures in 13 games last season and was selected with the 35th overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.
The team also tweeted a photo of Christie and general manager Rob Pelinka inking the deal in Vegas:
Contract inked. Welcome to the league, Rook ♜ pic.twitter.com/Ghng9PRPhL— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) July 9, 2022
As expected, the deal is only for two years, according to Keith Smith of Spotrac. Because the Lakers used their full taxpayer mid-level on Lonnie Walker IV, they were limited to signing Christie to a two-year, minimum deal rather than using a portion of the mid-level to lock him in for three or four years on the cheap:
Max Christie has signed a two-year, minimum contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, a source tells @spotrac.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) July 10, 2022
Max Christie's contract with the Los Angeles Lakers is fully guaranteed for two years at the minimum. There are no options in Christie's deal, a league source tells @spotrac. Christie will be eligible for restricted free agency in 2024.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) July 13, 2022
As a result, the Lakers will have to pay Christie in two years if he develops like they hope, instead of having him under team control for longer.
After signing Christie, the Lakers’ roster officially stands at 14 players on standard NBA deals. 15 is the maximum for the regular season, not including two-way contracts, and teams can only bring 20 players total into training camp.
Essentially, this means that as things stand right now, the Lakers can only sign one more player in free agency... or only add a... net... of one extra player in some sort of uneven, 2-for-1 trade.
Here is the updated roster with Christie aboard:
- LeBron James
- Anthony Davis
- Russell Westbrook
- Talen Horton-Tucker
- Kendrick Nunn
- Austin Reaves
- Lonnie Walker IV
- Damian Jones
- Thomas Bryant
- Juan Toscano Anderson
- Troy Brown Jr.
- Stanley Johnson
- Wenyen Gabriel (non-guaranteed)
- Max Christie
- Scotty Pippen Jr.
- Cole Swider
Christie and the Lakers tip off their first game in Las Vegas at 7 p.m. against the Phoenix Suns.
This breaking news story may be updated with more information and context as it develops. For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts.