Report: Lakers confident Max Christie can be 8th or 9th man, higher on him than Cam Reddish

Mike Battaglino
4 Min Read

This offseason, the Los Angeles Lakers made sure most of their key players would be back in the fold for another run at an NBA championship, so their main lineup decisions fall deeper into the rotation, and they reportedly are contemplating giving Max Christie a bigger role than Cam Reddish coming off the bench.

Christie just completed his rookie season with the Lakers, and he played 41 games while averaging 3.1 points and 12.5 minutes per contest.

“The Lakers are confident he can grow into being the team’s eighth or ninth man next season,” wrote Jovan Buha of The Athletic.

Reddish finished last season with the Portland Trail Blazers after being traded by the New York Knicks. The 23-year-old averaged 9.7 points per game in 40 games combined (20 with each team).

“Christie’s spot in the rotation likely comes down to him versus Cam Reddish,” wrote Buha. “Based on their current strengths and skill sets, Christie makes more sense. The Lakers are higher on him. He’s the better shooter and defender, with more upside.”

Reddish may have a higher profile as a former top-10 pick in the NBA Draft (No. 10 overall in 2019 by the Atlanta Hawks out of Duke University), while Christie was a second-round pick (No. 35 overall) out of Michigan State University in the 2022 draft.

But the Lakers clearly see something in the 20-year-old’s potential, and some around the NBA reportedly believe he can follow a similar career path as Austin Reaves, who emerged as a rising star for L.A. last season.

Christie recently was named All-Summer League Second Team after averaging 19.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game while shooting 49.2 percent from the field and 55.0 percent from 3-point range.

“I just want to be in the rotation and play as much as possible,” Christie told The Athletic. “I just want to play as much basketball as I can. Last year was motivation to get to that spot. That’s really all it is. That’s my mission. That’s my goal.”

The fact that the Lakers can concentrate on figuring out who their eighth or ninth man might be is proof that they have very few holes after their offseason went according to plan. They were able to re-sign Reaves, D’Angelo Russell and Rui Hachimura while also adding Reddish, Gabe Vincent, Taurean Prince and Jaxson Hayes.

LeBron James confirmed he will put off retirement to return for a 21st NBA season, and Anthony Davis is reportedly heading toward a possible contract extension, so they should enter the season in an excellent state of mind.

The championship window may not be open long for James, so any young player who can contribute in a meaningful way toward a title quest will be extremely valuable, and the Lakers seem to think Christie can be one of those players.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. He remembers the birth of "Showtime" and has always admired the star power the Lakers have brought to the game.