NBA

Lakers to waive sharpshooter and former DoorDash driver Matt Ryan, per report

The Los Angeles Lakers are waiving sharpshooter Matt Ryan, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. Ryan made one of the biggest shots of the season for the Lakers when he nailed a game-tying 3-pointer against the New Orleans Pelicans to send that game to overtime. The Lakers would later win the game. Ryan was shooting 38.2 percent from deep on the season for the Lakers in a limited role.

Ryan gained instant fame within the Lakers fandom due to his unusual backstory. Ryan went undrafted out of college, and to make ends meet while he awaited his chance in the NBA, delivered food for DoorDash and worked as a landscaper at a cemetery. He briefly played for the Celtics last season before catching on in Los Angeles this year.

Ryan had a non-guaranteed contract, so the Lakers were able to waive him harmlessly. The decision to let him go raises further questions about what they plan to do with his spot on the roster. With an empty roster spot, they can now make an unbalanced trade in which they bring in two players while only sending out one. This obviously fits the template of the long-rumored Russell Westbrook for Buddy Hield and Myles Turner deal with Indiana.

More likely, the Lakers are waiving Ryan either to sign a different free agent to their roster or create roster flexibility before the trade market picks up. On Dec. 15, free agents who signed their contracts this offseason will be available to be traded, and as such, deals start to come in around then. An extra roster spot gives the Lakers a bit more flexibility on that front, though sadly, that flexibility comes at Ryan’s expense.



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