3:38pm: The Lakers have officially waived Ryan, the team confirmed (Twitter link).
7:05am: The Lakers are waiving sharpshooter Matt Ryan, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter). The move will open up a spot on Los Angeles’ standard 15-man roster and the team has no plans to immediately fill it.
Ryan, who has talked about working as a DoorDash driver after going undrafted out of Chattanooga in 2020, eventually landed with the Grand Rapids Gold in the G League in 2021/22, then made his NBA debut with the Celtics this past spring. He joined the Lakers on a non-guaranteed minimum-salary contract in September and earned a spot on the regular season roster.
Although Ryan has exhibited the ability to knock down three-pointers, having made 13-of-35 attempts (37.1%) for L.A. this season, he only converted 2-of-14 two-pointers. In total, he averaged 3.9 PPG in 12 appearances (10.8 MPG).
Both Charania and Dave McMenamin of ESPN (Twitter link) frame the decision to waive Ryan as one the Lakers made to give themselves extra roster flexibility when several of their players become trade-eligible on December 15 and they start to seriously consider potential deals.
However, as Bobby Marks of ESPN and Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report (Twitter links) note, Ryan’s full-season salary wouldn’t have become guaranteed for another six weeks, so the Lakers could’ve waived him anytime before January 7 if they needed his roster spot to accommodate a trade.
Marks points out (via Twitter) that the Lakers, given their tax position, will save $61K per day without Ryan on the roster. Pincus, meanwhile, suggests that the decision to release the 25-year-old now may be partly logistical, since the team is about to embark upon a six-game road trip and likely determined it didn’t make sense to bring Ryan on that trip if he was already on the chopping block.
Assuming Ryan is officially cut on Thursday, he’ll have earned $442,439 for the 45 days he spent on the Lakers’ roster and the two he’ll spend on waivers.