Lakers Sign Prized Role Player to $32 Million Deal Minutes Into Free Agency

Lakers Sign Prized Role Player to $32 Million Deal Minutes Into Free Agency

Max Christie | Los Angeles Lakers |

On Sunday, June 30, at 6 p.m. ET, minutes after the negotiation window opened, the Los Angeles Lakers made their first move in free agency.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, L.A. signed backup shooting guard and former 2022 second-round selection Max Christie to a four-year contract worth $32 million. Christie has a player option for the last season. Christie will turn 22 in the middle of his third NBA season in 2024–2025.

In his second season in the league, Christie averaged 4.2 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 0.9 assists, according to Basketball Reference. In his two seasons in the NBA, the former Michigan State star is shooting 37.8% on 1.7 tries per game from outside the 3-point line.

The Lakers’ acquisition of Christie makes sense because the organization has been working with him as a developmental player and anticipates that, on a cheap contract, he will establish himself as a key rotational player as early as the 2024–25 campaign. Nevertheless, L.A. might have made a more win-now move with the money it spent on the rookie shooting guard.

Scotto] The Lakers tendered a qualifying offer to guard Max Christie, which  makes him a restricted free agent, @hoopshype has learned. The 21-year-old  appeared in 67 games for the Lakers last season.

LeBron James is eligible for a three-year maximum worth more than $160 million after choosing to forego the last year of his contract over the weekend. The four-time MVP and winner, nevertheless, has stated that he is willing to take a far lower salary in exchange for the perfect free agent acquisition.

“An established veteran playmaker like James Harden or Klay Thompson, or an established big man to play alongside Anthony Davis — like Jonas Valanciunas — would be the type of player that James would be willing to make a financial sacrifice for,” ESPN’s Dave McMenamin wrote on Saturday.

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