The Lakers selected Max Christie, a 6-foot-6 wing from Michigan State, with the 35th pick of the NBA Draft on Thursday night, bringing in a 19-year-old who analysts believe could develop into a valuable shooter and defender.
The franchise was eager enough to buy back into the draft on Thursday morning, swapping cash considerations and a 2028 second-round pick with the Orlando Magic. They wind up with Christie, who averaged 9.3 points and 3.5 points for the Spartans in a one-and-done season.
Christie attended the draft in Brooklyn as a potential first-round pick, and the Lakers could be getting first-round value if he develops as hoped. Christie was a McDonald’s All-American and a five-star recruit out of Rolling Meadows High in Chicago, but he lost some steam in the draft after shooting just 31.7% from 3-point range in college.
Christie joins three other native Chicagoans on the Lakers’ roster: Anthony Davis, Talen Horton-Tucker and Kendrick Nunn. Christie also follows a legacy of players with Michigan ties to the franchise, which most famously includes Magic Johnson (Michigan State) but also Kyle Kuzma (Michigan born) and Moritz Wagner (UM). General Manager Rob Pelinka played for the University of Michigan in college.
At least one Michigan State alum voiced his approval: Golden State’s Draymond Green.
“Another 35th pick from Michigan State. History says he’s going to be an All-Star,” Green tweeted, in a winking self-reference.
More to come on this story.