Recent report may reveal fate of Los Angeles Lakers RFA Max Christie

Los Angeles Lakers guard Max Christie will be a restricted free agent this summer. A recent report may have revealed how the Lakers intend to approach him.
Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State Warriors
Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State Warriors / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Lakers are entering an offseason in which assets are limited and ambitions are endless. It’s a challenging place for any organization to find itself in, let alone the biggest rival of the team that’s about to break a record-holding championship tie.

With finite resources to improve, it seems the Lakers are finally turning their attention to developing the players they already have.

Los Angeles has several key players entering free agency this summer. LeBron James and D’Angelo Russell are the biggest names, but the organization appears to be focusing on more than just the All-Stars on the roster.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, one of the priorities that general manager Rob Pelinka has outlined in hiring a new coach is finding someone who can develop shooting guard Max Christie.

"As Pelinka did with Hurley, he still wants a teaching coach and staff who will prioritize the development of young players such as Max Christie, Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura and can design a creative approach to featuring Anthony Davis on both ends of the floor, sources said."

None of the information Wojnarowski provided is particularly surprising, but the fact that Christie's name was included in the report is a potential indicator of how the Lakers plan to approach his free agency.

Christie, who turned 21 in February, was selected by the Lakers at No. 35 overall in the 2022 NBA Draft. The former five-star recruit and Big Ten All-Freshman Team honoree looked the part of a player who could provide two-way value in a supporting role.

Despite showing signs of being one of the best shooters on a team that ranked 24th in the NBA in three-point field goals made in 2023-24, however, Christie has averaged just 13.5 minutes per game through two seasons with the Lakers.

Through two seasons and 108 games played, Christie is shooting 37.8 percent on 180 attempts from beyond the arc. Playing time restraints have limited the evaluation window, but at 6’6” with a 6’9” wingspan, he has the physical tools to provide two-way value.

Thankfully, the Lakers believe that Christie's 3-and-D potential can still be tapped into, specifically under the guidance of a player development specialist.

With a cap hold of just $2,321,816, the Lakers won't have to pay much to reserve the right to match any offer Christie receives. One could also surmise that any potential negotiations will start in an affordable range due to the uncertainty surrounding what he’s capable of in a more prominent role.

In any scenario, the Lakers are reportedly committed to developing Christie as a potential key cog in the next coach’s rotation.

Re-signing the former second-round draft pick seems more likely than ever before.