Report: There’s optimism Max Christie could follow in Austin Reaves’ footsteps for Lakers

Jason Simpson
3 Min Read

It’s no secret that the Los Angeles Lakers have a knack for identifying talent, and in some cases, they’ve been able to turn overlooked players into gems at the NBA level.

Austin Reaves is one of L.A.’s most recent success stories. The 25-year-old went undrafted in 2021 before getting a chance with the Lakers, and it didn’t take long for him to reward the team for its belief in him.

Now, folks are looking to see if Max Christie can follow a similar path. The 20-year-old wasn’t picked until the second round of the 2022 NBA Draft, but he showed promise as a rookie and during this year’s Summer League.

“He’s exciting,” a league source told while speaking of Christie. “There’s excitement that he could follow Austin Reaves’ footsteps, what he did the last couple of years.”

Reaves was immediately impressive as a rookie before taking his game to new heights in the 2022-23 season. He averaged 13.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game in his sophomore campaign, shooting 52.9 percent from the field and 39.8 percent from deep.

The rising star was rewarded with a new contract this offseason and may see an even bigger role on offense in the 2023-24 campaign.

The 2022-23 season was Christie’s first at the NBA level. His playing time was limited, but he was efficient when on the floor, knocking down 41.9 percent of his shots from beyond the arc.

In five Summer League games this year, he averaged 19.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists per contest, shooting 49.2 percent from the field and a whopping 55.0 percent from 3-point range.

The youngster walked away with All-Summer League Second Team honors and seems to be on a very exciting trajectory for the Lakers heading into the 2023-24 campaign. It seems like there’s a chance he’ll get consistent playing time for the squad, and he knows it.

“The opportunity is going to be there,” Christie told

But he’s going to have to earn his minutes, and that’s easier said than done on a team that’s trying to compete for a championship. Christie’s upcoming season will be a fascinating one to watch as he looks to do both things — develop as a player and help his squad get to the promised land.

If he can ultimately follow in Reaves’ footsteps and become a key player for the Lakers, that’s going to be worthy of celebration for all involved parties.

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Jason is excited about the LeBron James era of Lakers basketball and hopes that the end result will be multiple championships.