LeBron James' LA Lakers made aggressive moves in the second round of the NBA draft and picked Max Christie of Michigan State. LA acquired the Orlando Magic’s 35th pick for a future second-round pick and cash, per an ESPN report.
Minutes after the Purple and Gold made their pick, Skip Bayless promptly took a shot at the franchise on Twitter. Here’s what the outspoken sports analyst had to say about the Lakers’ move:
“Lakers acquire a 2nd-round pick, take Michigan State's Max Christie, who shot only 32% from 3 last season. Perfect! He'll fit right in with LeBron and Westbrick.”
In 35 games for the Michigan State Spartans, Max Christie posted horrible numbers. He made only 38.2% of his field-goal attempts, including 31.7% from beyond the arc.
The LA Lakers finished 22nd in 3-point shooting this past season (34.7%), which could mean that Christie will have to spend time in the developmental setup honing his skills.
The Lakers ranked second in open 3-point shots attempted this past season and still finished near the bottom in efficiency. Teams will undoubtedly continue to push them into making long-range shots as they may not have the personnel to consistently beat opponents with 3s.
Adding Christie is a head-scratching move, considering the LA Lakers’ win-now mantra since acquiring LeBron James.
Moreover, two of the Lakers’ most reliable 3-point shooters could be gone next season, leaving the team with more problems. Malik Monk made 39.1% of his 3-point attempts last season and might be forced to leave alongside Avery Bradley, who shot 39% from beyond the arc.
Russell Westbrook (29.8%), Austin Reaves (31.7%), Stanley Johnson (31.4%) and Talen Horton-Tucker (26.9%) also struggled to make an impact. Anthony Davis was also a non-factor, making a dismal 18.6% of his 3-point attempts.
Draymond Green gives LeBron James and the LA Lakers hope after drafting a fellow Spartan
Ten years ago, the Golden State Warriors took Draymond Green out of Michigan State with the 35th pick. No one would have put their money on the forward becoming a future Hall of Famer, but Green defied the odds to make it to the top.
The four-time NBA champion is confident Christie can follow in his footsteps.
“Another 35th pick from Michigan State. History says he’s going to be an All-Star,” Green tweeted.
When Green entered the draft a decade ago, he was a better shooter, rebounder and playmaker than Christie. The former Defensive Player of the Year was a 36.1% 3-point shooter in college, significantly better than Christie.
Perhaps Draymond Green has some inside knowledge that scouts are not privy to. For now, Max Christie may not even get an opportunity to play alongside LeBron James. He undoubtedly has an upside and could turn out to be a steal. However, he will likely not be a big part of Darvin Ham's rotation this season.