When the Lakers selected Max Christie in last spring’s draft, he was seen as a project, a player with lots of potential that needed seasoning. His skillset is one of a stereotypical 3&D wing, but as much of his development was going to have to come away from the court as it was on it.
Christie looked every bit the 19-year-old he was when he entered the league. But after some time in the G League and away from the parent Lakers at the start of the year, Christie has shown more and more flashes later into the season. And if you’ve noticed a difference physically, that’s not a coincidence either.
In a recent profile by Jovan Buha of The Athletic of Christie, the rookie revealed he’s already added 10 pounds of muscle mid-season.
When Christie arrived in Los Angeles, he was 189 pounds. He’s now fluctuating between 197 and 200, gaining a solid 10 pounds of muscle over the past six months. Christie works closely with associate strength and conditioning coach Randy Flores (weightlifting, protein and supplements) and team dietician Becci Twombley (nutrition, meal timing and frequency). Their goal for the rest of the season is for him to maintain his weight, with an eye on adding a few more pounds in future seasons.
“Two-hundred pounds is pretty good to be at right now, for now,” Christie said. “Next year, we’ll probably up that a little bit more. But it’s been 10 pounds this year so far. It’s probably more than what we expected, especially in a long season like this.”
As much as anything else, Christie will need to continue to bulk up to be an impactful player in the league. Given his size and skillset, he’s going to be a 3&D wing in his NBA career and adding more size will only serve to benefit him, particularly defensively where he’s already shown great instincts.
If he can mature physically as well as in his skillset, he can become the latest diamond in the rough for the Lakers. At least early on, it looks like he’s on the right path.
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