Wednesday, August 10, 2022

MSU guard Max Christie drafted 35th overall by the Los Angeles Lakers

June 23, 2022
<p>Freshman guard Max Christie (5) shoots at the Illinois basket during the second half. The Spartans lost to the Fighting Illini in the final seconds, 56-55, at State Farm Center on Jan. 25, 2022. </p>

Freshman guard Max Christie (5) shoots at the Illinois basket during the second half. The Spartans lost to the Fighting Illini in the final seconds, 56-55, at State Farm Center on Jan. 25, 2022.

Photo by Lauren DeMay | The State News

Michigan State guard Max Christie has been drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers as the 35th overall pick in the second round of the 2022 NBA Draft.

Christie is the first Spartan to be drafted to the Lakers since NBA legend Earvin "Magic" Johnson in 1979.

In his short college career with the Spartans, he averaged 9.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists.

He declared for the NBA draft after just one season at MSU, a decision that surprised many Spartan fans who expected him to return for at least one more year to improve his game. The 6’6” guard is just the fourth player in school history to be a “one-and-done” player and the first since Jaren Jackson Jr. in 2018.

He joins elite company in former Spartans Draymond Green and Xavier Tillman Sr. who were also 35th overall picks in their respective drafts and most recently faced off against each other in the NBA playoffs.

Head Coach Tom Izzo has been nothing but supportive of his decision.

“I know this has been a lifelong dream for Max and I am excited for him as he takes the next step and continues the process and journey to becoming an NBA player,” Izzo said in a statement. “We appreciate all of the hard work and dedication he gave to Michigan State Basketball this season and wish him nothing but the best.”

Christie made an immediate impact upon his arrival in East Lansing by becoming a dependable part of the starting lineup. After getting off to a hot start offensively, he played a key role on the team but struggled to consistently find his shot towards the end of the season.

During his time as a Spartan, he shot 31.7% from behind the arc, 38.2% from the field, and 82.4% from the free-throw line.

Christie will look to make that same impact he had in East Lansing, in Los Angeles. The Lakers finished last season with a 33-49 record, failing to make the playoffs, and finishing 11th in the NBA Western Conference. He will join NBA stars Lebron James and Carmelo Anthony in their journey to get the team back on track.

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