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Lakers officially sign Max Christie to two-year, fully guaranteed minimum deal

No. 35 pick Max Christie has officially signed his contract with the Lakers after the team took him in the second round of the 2022 NBA Draft last month.

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2022 NBA California Classic - Sacramento Kings v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

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:

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:

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:

Regular Roster

  1. LeBron James
  2. Anthony Davis
  3. Russell Westbrook
  4. Talen Horton-Tucker
  5. Kendrick Nunn
  6. Austin Reaves
  7. Lonnie Walker IV
  8. Damian Jones
  9. Thomas Bryant
  10. Juan Toscano Anderson
  11. Troy Brown Jr.
  12. Stanley Johnson
  13. Wenyen Gabriel (non-guaranteed)
  14. Max Christie

Two-way players

  1. Scotty Pippen Jr.
  2. 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.