The upcoming regular NBA season is on the horizon, and the Lakers have formally completed their roster and are raring to take a bite at the cherry.
According to a Shams Charania report later affirmed by Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times, the Lakers are not releasing Matt Rayan, making him the 15th player on the Lakers’ NBA roster.
A Reliable Shooter
Ryan has been a reliable shooter in the preseason, connecting on 35.5 percent of his three-point attempts. He made 6-of-9 three-pointers, scoring 20 points in the Lakers’ lone preseason victory over the Golden State Warriors, which served as his big moment. Meanwhile, after that, Ryan became a more prominent member of the rotation under Darvin Ham, who gave him first-half playing time against the Wolves and the Kings so that Ryan could interact with the team’s stars, signaling Ryan’s impending promotion to the main roster.
Didn’t Receive an Invite to the G League Bubble
Making an NBA roster is a fantastic achievement for Ryan, who, after going undrafted in 2020, couldn’t even get a G League bubble invite a year and a half prior. Meanwhile, before joining the Grand Rapids Gold (the Denver Nuggets’ G League team) in October 2021, he was employed in his grandfather’s cemetery and as a DoorDash driver. However, in April 2022, Ryan finally agreed to a two-way contract with Boston. He performed well for the Celtics during the Summer League, which put him on the Lakers’ radar for training camp this year, and the rest is history.
Ryan will not be protected until the league-wide cutdown date in January because he’ll still be on a non-guaranteed contract, and even then, the Lakers could still waive him and absorb his cap hit. However, the Lakers are currently willingly paying an additional $60,000 per day in tax penalties to keep Ryan on the roster.
Troy Brown Jr Ruled Out for Opening Night
Meanwhile, Troy Brown Jr. has been ruled out for the opening night after skipping the entire preseason. The team’s decision to keep him on the roster may be a little concerning for his health. Moreover, Ryan is presumably playing the time that Brown would have been on the field.
However, for the time being, Ryan gets to fulfill his basketball dream of playing in the NBA, an accomplishment that would have seemed impossible just two years prior. He plays the reigning champions in his debut, a team that he did quite well against less than a week ago. Undrafted gems have historically been discovered by the Lakers’ scouting department; perhaps Matt Ryan will be the newest addition to that list.