Michigan State basketball’s Max Christie goes to LA Lakers in Spherical 2

Max Christie‘s one-and-done gamble on his expertise paid off – from Michigan State basketball to the NBA.

With new teammate LeBron James.

The previous five-star prospect went to the Los Angeles Lakers within the second spherical with the thirty fifth total decide in Thursday night time’s 2022 NBA Draft.

“It is superb. It is surreal. LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony – I imply, the record goes on,” Christie advised reporters in Brooklyn, New York. “A bunch of nice gamers on the Lakers workforce. I feel I can be taught quite a bit and get higher on that group.”

Michigan State guard Max Christie drives in opposition to Purdue guard Jaden Ivey through the second half of MSU’s 75-70 loss within the Massive Ten match semifinal on Saturday, March 12, 2022, in Indianapolis.

Christie is the Spartans’ first drafted participant since Xavier Tillman and Cassius Winston each went within the 2020 second spherical – Memphis took Tillman with the thirty fifth decide that 12 months. Coach Tom Izzo has not had a participant taken within the first spherical since Jaren Jackson Jr. in 2018.

Moments after the decide was introduced, former MSU and present Golden State Warriors star Draymond Inexperienced identified his draft night time 10 years in the past. Like Christie and Tillman, he was additionally the thirty fifth decide, within the 2012 draft.

“One other thirty fifth decide from Michigan State,” Inexperienced tweeted. “Historical past says he’ll be an All-Star.”

Christie’s lone season as a Spartan was a mercurial one. The 6-foot-6 capturing guard began all 35 video games he performed, lacking one in opposition to Excessive Level on Dec. 29 because of COVID-19, and posted stable all-around numbers for a freshman by averaging 9.3 factors, 3.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.5 turnovers in a team-high 30.8 minutes. He made 82.4% of his free throws and was a plus-65 on the court docket.

“One factor that, for me, goes to be useful goes to be time,” Christie advised reporters on the NBA mix in Could. “I’m solely 19 years outdated, and I feel being in an NBA system for a number of years is absolutely going to assist me develop and enhance over time. A workforce that is prepared to try this, the assets which have been applied and the issues which have been completed lately promotes that for me. ”

Christie struggled along with his capturing, making 38.2% of his photographs total and 31.7% on 3-pointers. Regardless of flashing some explosiveness and stunning leaping quickness, his want so as to add energy and bulk to his 190-pound regarded evident as soon as Massive Ten play arrived. He shot 44.7% contained in the arc, predominantly on midrange jumpers, and had points ending by way of contact within the paint. Christie made 23.9% of his 3s in February and March, as his legs fatigued along with his defensive tasks whereas usually drawing opponents’ high scoring threats.

“It might not have been mirrored this previous 12 months, however I feel I do know and I feel everybody is aware of I’m a greater shooter than what I produced,” Christie, a local of Arlington Heights, Illinois, stated in Could. “Probably not frightened in regards to the numbers that had been produced – I am a greater shooter, and I will shoot it higher within the NBA.”

ESPN analyst Jay Bilas referred to as the Lakers’ collection of Christie a “worth decide,” and he complimented him for having “a very good capturing stroke” with a excessive launch regardless of Christie’s struggles.

“I would say he is a stable defender, so that you’d take a look at him as one other 3-and-D man,” Bilas stated. “He wound up being somewhat streaky this final 12 months, however he is obtained plenty of potential. I feel if he would have come again to highschool, we would be speaking about him as a first-round decide subsequent 12 months. He simply wanted somewhat little bit of time to develop, and he’ll have that when he will get to the Lakers. “

Christie is the primary MSU participant chosen by the Lakers since Magic Johnson went No. 1 total within the 1979 NBA draft. Anthony “Pig” Miller was taken by Golden State then traded to the Lakers on draft day in 1994.

Whereas Magic’s “Showtime” Lakers received huge within the Nineteen Eighties, it’s LeBron’s workforce now. James will enter his fifth season in Los Angeles and led the storied franchise to the 2020 NBA title through the pandemic-induced bubble playoffs. Throughout his tenure, LA has missed the playoffs 3 times, and exited within the first spherical of the 2021 playoffs.

Christie arrives after the Lakers went 33-49 and missed the playoffs once more in 2022.

“I feel (Christie) will likely be a man that will likely be a undertaking,” ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins stated throughout Thursday’s broadcast. “And you’ve got probably the greatest developmental guys there for participant growth in Phil Useful, one of many high assistants that is gonna be capable of put his arms on him and be capable of work with this younger fella and get them proper. I imply, you retain them robust. After which he has the chance to be taught from one of many best to ever play the sport of basketball (James). “

Together with Useful, new Lakers coach Darvin Ham – a Saginaw native – this week employed former Izzo video coordinator Jordan Ott as an assistant coach. Ott had been with the Nets since 2016 after working at MSU from 2008-13. The Lakers’ head gear supervisor, Shelby Township native Andrew Henkadditionally was a pupil assistant for Izzo from 2012-14.

Contact Chris Solari: csolari@freepress.com. Comply with him on Twitter @chrissolari. Learn extra on the Michigan State Spartans and join our Spartans e-newsletter.

This text initially appeared on Detroit Free Press: NBA Draft: Michigan State’s Max Christie goes to LA Lakers in Spherical 2

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