The Los Angeles Lakers got back in the win column on Wednesday night, building a big lead and hanging on to beat the Portland Trail Blazers at home.
It was a rare win where the Lakers actually got to rest their starters for a few minutes at the end as guys like Matt Ryan, Kendrick Nunn, Max Christie and Damian Jones closed it out.
For Ryan, it turns out those were his final minutes donning the purple and gold. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Lakers are waiving Ryan in order to open up a roster spot ahead of Dec. 15 when free agents from this past summer become trade eligible:
The Lakers are waiving wing shooter Matt Ryan, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Ryan impressed in stint with L.A., shooting 38.2 percent from 3, including a clutch shot in win over Pelicans in November. The move opens up a roster spot for Lakers ahead of Dec. 15 trade date.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 1, 2022
Ryan was in the locker room after the game and confirmed to Kyle Goon of the Southern California News Group that he is indeed being waived:
Matt Ryan confirmed that he’s being waived by the Lakers, but declined any other comment with the move still officially pending.
— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) December 1, 2022
The timing of this is unfortunate as Ryan did not even get to enjoy one final win with his teammates.
The sharpshooter is on a non-guaranteed contract though so if the Lakers were going to waive anyone to open up a roster spot, it was going to be him.
Even though Ryan’s time in a Laker uniform was short, he made a big impact with a buzzer-beating 3 to send a recent win over the New Orleans Pelicans to overtime.
The Lakers will now have an open roster spot moving forward, maintaining flexibility to make other signings or deals.
Lakers believe they can play .500 ball until Dec. 15
As previously mentioned, the Dec. 15 date is significant because more players become available to trade, which gives the Lakers more options.
According to recent reports, the Lakers are hoping to play .500 until then and then they can assess where they’re at before making any moves.
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