Lakers Re-Sign Max Christie to Four-Year, $32 Million Deal

0 8

The Los Angeles Lakers have secured guard Max Christie with a four-year, $32 million contract, solidifying their investment in the young talent after his promising sophomore season.

 

In a strategic move to bolster their roster, the Los Angeles Lakers have re-signed guard Max Christie to a four-year, $32 million contract. This deal, graded a B-, highlights the team’s investment in young talent amid roster adjustments.

Christie, a second-round pick, has shown promising development during his sophomore NBA season. At 20 years old, he demonstrated his potential as a restricted free agent, shooting 36% from beyond the arc and showcasing his ability to defend both wing positions at 6-foot-6. On a Lakers team that has struggled with a lack of young talent, Christie’s performance stood out, necessitating a significant salary increase after two seasons at the minimum.

The challenge for the Lakers lies in integrating Christie’s new salary into their financial plans, especially as they consider using their midlevel exception. This comes in the context of LeBron James potentially taking a lower salary for the 2024-25 season after declining his $51.4 million player option.

With Christie’s contract projected to start at $7.1 million, including maximum raises, the Lakers now have $138.3 million committed to 13 players. Factoring in $700,000 in unlikely incentives for D’Angelo Russell, the team has just over $39 million to spend up to the lower luxury tax apron. This figure would become a hard cap if the Lakers use the non-taxpayer midlevel exception, effectively setting a starting salary of $26 million for James, barring additional cost-saving measures.

One potential move to create financial flexibility would be trading center Christian Wood, who picked up a $3 million player option. Since Wood is on a minimum contract, he could be traded to any team. However, this move would only free up an additional $3 million, providing at most $29 million for James. It remains to be seen whether James would be willing to accept such a substantial discount to help the Lakers add a veteran contributor.

For Christie, the expectations will rise with his new salary. Despite his promising three-point shooting, his overall efficiency needs improvement. Last season, Christie’s combination of average three-point shooting and sub-50% accuracy inside the arc left him with a .544 true shooting percentage, compared to the league average of .580. His role in the Lakers’ offense was relatively small, with a 14% usage rate. To maximize his potential, Christie needs to enhance his shooting accuracy and generate more steals on defense.

On the positive side, Christie has significant room for growth. His new contract extends through his age-25 season, giving him several years to develop further. According to the SCHOENE projection system, comparable players at Christie’s age, such as Malik Beasley and Anfernee Simons, developed into plus offensive players. If Christie makes substantial progress, the Lakers might eventually regret including a player option for the final season of his contract, a common practice for the team with free agents.

Overall, the Lakers’ decision to re-sign Max Christie reflects their commitment to nurturing young talent while navigating the complexities of roster management and salary cap considerations. As the Lakers continue to adjust their lineup and financial strategy, Christie’s development will be closely watched, with the hope that he can evolve into a key contributor for the team.

 

 

Follow us @Sportscliffs on Twitter and Instagram and also like our facebook page

SPORTSCLIFFS

Leave a comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Pin It on Pinterest

Shares