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 general decide in Thursday night time’s 2022 NBA draft.

“It is wonderful. It is surreal. LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony — I imply, the listing goes on,” Christie informed reporters in Brooklyn, New York. “A bunch of nice gamers on the Lakers crew. I feel I can study so much and get higher on that group.”

Michigan State guard Max Christie drives against Purdue guard Jaden Ivey during the second half of MSU's 75-70 loss in the Big Ten tournament semifinal on Saturday, March 12, 2022, in Indianapolis.

Michigan State guard Max Christie drives towards Purdue guard Jaden Ivey in the course of the second half of MSU’s 75-70 loss within the Large 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 yr. 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 towards Excessive Level on Dec. 29 as a result 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 courtroom.

“One factor that, for me, goes to be helpful goes to be time,” Christie informed reporters on the NBA mix in Could. “I am solely 19 years previous, and I feel being in an NBA system for a couple of years is actually going to assist me develop and enhance over time. A crew that is prepared to do this, the assets which have been applied and the issues which have been carried out lately promotes that for me.”

Christie struggled along with his capturing, making 38.2% of his pictures general and 31.7% on 3-pointers. Regardless of flashing some explosiveness and stunning leaping quickness, his want so as to add power and bulk to his 190-pound look evident as soon as Large 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, his legs fatigued along with his defensive tasks whereas typically drawing opponents’ prime scoring threats.

“It might not have been mirrored this previous yr, however I feel I do know and I feel everybody is aware of I am a greater shooter than what I produced,” Christie, a local of Arlington Heights, Illinois, mentioned in Could. “Not likely fearful in regards to the numbers that have been produced — I am a greater shooter, and I’ll shoot it higher within the NBA.”

ESPN analyst Jay Bilas referred to as the Lakers’ number 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 might say he is a stable defender, so that you’d take a look at him as one other 3-and-D man,” Bilas mentioned. “He wound up being slightly streaky this final yr, however he is received lots of potential. I feel if he would have come again to high school, we would be speaking about him as a first-round decide subsequent yr. He simply wanted slightly 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 general 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 gained large within the Eighties, it is LeBron’s crew now. James will enter his fifth season in Los Angeles and led the storied franchise to the 2020 NBA title in the course of the pandemic-induced bubble playoffs. Throughout his tenure, LA missed the playoffs thrice, 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 might be a man that might be a challenge,” ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins mentioned throughout Thursday’s broadcast. “And you’ve got among the best developmental guys there for participant improvement in Phil Useful, one of many prime assistants that is gonna have the ability to put his arms on him and have the ability to work with this younger fella and get them proper. I imply, you retain them robust. After which he has alternative to study from one of many biggest 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 Henkwas additionally a scholar 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 publication.

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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