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Michigan State’s Max Christie to test NBA Draft process, retain college eligibility

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Wisconsin v Michigan State Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

Michigan State freshman shooting guard Max Christie is entering his name into the 2022 NBA Draft process, according to an Instagram post from Christie. He will retain his college eligibility, leaving the door open for a return to East Lansing for his sophomore season.

Granted, it is an interesting day to reveal this news (April Fools’ Day), but Christie, a player who has NBA potential and aspirations, would be wise to enter the process and get feedback from NBA scouts and decision-makers on where he currently stands. If he does decide to return to Michigan State, he would know exactly what aspects of his game and development he needs to focus on to eventually make it at the professional level.

Simply put, it makes total sense for Christie to go through the draft process right now. Every potential prospect who is unsure of their standing with NBA teams would be smart to take advantage of this opportunity and then decide if remaining in the draft or going back to school is in the best interest of that individual.

Christie made the Big Ten’s All-Freshman team for the 2021-2022 season. He was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week five separate times during the campaign. Including postseason play, Christie started all 35 games he appeared in this season. He missed one contest against High Point on Dec. 29, as he was forced to sit out due to COVID-19. Christie averaged 9.3 points per game (tied with Marcus Bingham Jr. for second on the team), 3.5 rebounds per game and just under 1.5 assists per game.

Of course, Christie struggled with consistency, which isn’t uncommon for a freshman —especially one playing as many minutes as Christie did (30.8 minutes per game, which led the Spartans). Christie, a former five-star recruit, flashed his potential throughout his freshman year, but struggled with his shot. He shot just 38.2 percent from the floor overall, and just 31.7 percent from three-point range, while converting a strong 82.4 percent of his free-throw attempts.

While he had ups and downs, Christie’s defense was praised throughout the year by head coach Tom Izzo.

If Christie wants to return to Michigan State for the 2022-2023 season, he needs to withdraw his name from the NBA Draft by June 1 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. Christie is currently projected by various mock drafts to go anywhere between the middle or late first round and second round.

Bingham, and fellow Michigan State senior Gabe Brown, have also declared for the 2022 NBA Draft. Walk-on Peter Nwoke and Davis Smith — a former walk-on who was on scholarship this past season — have entered the transfer portal.