Max Christie was the big winner for the Lakers in Summer League this year, as the second-year player looked exactly as you would hope a second-year player looks in his second Summer League.
Much of the potential he showed as a rookie and even in college began to really be realized this summer. After a rookie season when he flashed promise, he displayed much more tangible skills this summer.
With the Lakers already having a good amount of depth on the roster, Christie would have to continue chipping away to earn minutes. However, the early signs are that he will have a role.
On Monday, Jovan Buha of The Athletic wrote about Christie and noted that he could be in the back end of the rotation to start the season.
His ascension is an X-factor in the rotation. If he can continue to develop as a shot creator and playmaker, he has a chance to carve out a significant role given his 3-point shooting and defensive ability. The Lakers are confident he can grow into being the team’s eighth or ninth man next season.
Heading into the season, the depth feels pretty clear right now. D’Angelo Russell and Gabe Vincent are the point guards, LeBron James and Taurean Prince are the wings, Rui Hachimura and Jarred Vanderbilt are the forwards, and Anthony Davis, Jaxson Hayes and a center to be named later are your bigs.
That leaves Austin Reaves as the starting shooting guard and, likely, Max Christie as the backup. Jalen Hood-Schifino will likely factor into that, but Christie should head into the season with an early lead.
There will be openings though. LeBron — and AD — will likely rest games this season to stay healthy for the playoffs, and that should present even more opportunities for Christie. He’s certainly played well enough when given the opportunities to earn a chance at more minutes.
And if he makes good on those opportunities like he did this summer, then the Lakers could be in store for another homegrown contributor.
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