Raptors could target athletic guard Max Christie in 2022 Draft

Nov 26, 2021; Nassau, BHS; Michigan State Spartans guard Max Christie (5) controls the ball against the Baylor Bears Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 26, 2021; Nassau, BHS; Michigan State Spartans guard Max Christie (5) controls the ball against the Baylor Bears Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /

It’s no secret that the Toronto Raptors‘ game plan in recent years has been to play hard defence and make plays in transition. Shooting tons of 3-point shots on the offensive end is a staple of their half-court attack. If they want to add a microwave scorer off the bench, they could use a draft pick on Michigan State shooting guard Max Christie.

The Raptors have no shortage of versatile defenders on their current roster, but they are lacking consistent knockdown shooters. Luckily for them, this year’s draft class has a player that could be the secret ingredient that helps the Raptors wipe away their bench scoring woes.

Currently playing for the Spartans, Christie’s 36% success rate from the field is a bit of a misnomer given how slow he started the season. He’s started to turn it on lately, making 43% of his 3-pointers in his road games and hitting double figures in three of his last five games.

Able to launch from deep off catch-and-shoot opportunities while still being athletic and skilled enough to create his own shots, Christie is creative with his shot choice. If the Raptors are near the lottery fringes, Christie should get some consideration.


Will the Toronto Raptors draft Max Christie?

Christie is not just a one-trick pony, however. With a solid 6-6 frame, he is crafty when taking the ball inside. A sneaky athlete, he can break down defenders before blowing by them and attacking the basket. Offensively, Christie has a ton to like.

If he can get that 3-point stroke up to around 35% or 40%, he could become a lottery lock given his background as a 5-star recruit.

Christie still needs to become a better facilitator for his team to make his offensive game complete. As it stands, he is averaging just under two assists per game, something he will need to improve upon when facing tougher defences within the NBA.

Not the best on-ball defender, Christie still lacks discipline when guarding down low as well as in isolation situations. Currently, he relies on his length and athleticism to make up for defensive lapses. This might work against Rutgers and Northwestern, but it won’t translate against the 76ers and Celtics.

Still needing to grow as a playmaker and defender, Christie would find himself in a perfect situation in Toronto to grow his game. Similar to current Raptor Gary Trent Jr., Christie would benefit from the Raptors development system. In less than one full season with the club, Trent’s defensive ability has skyrocketed.

Christie could be a lottery pick this year, and with the Raptors currently projected to fall within that range, he will be an option worth looking at. Shooting the ball has never been more valuable than it is right now in the NBA, and by selecting Christie the Raptors’ attack may take the next step towards competing in the playoffs once again.

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