After remodeling their roster this past offseason, the one thing the Los Angeles Lakers sorely lack is outside shooting.
Understanding that, the Lakers brought in a sharpshooter in Matt Ryan on a non-guaranteed contract just before the start of training camp. Ryan previously played for the Boston Celtics on a two-way contract but has provided the Lakers with some size on the wing as well as shooting.
The Lakers have 14 players on their roster but are allowed to go into the season with 15 players if they want. L.A. has typically gone with 14 players to maintain roster flexibility and avoid paying a 15th player.
It appears they will go a different route this season though as Shams Charania of The Athletic is reporting that the Lakers will keep Ryan and his non-guaranteed contract on the roster to begin the season:
Lakers’ G/F Matt Ryan has made the team’s current opening night roster, as the team won’t waive him by today’s roster cut deadline, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Ryan shot 37.5 percent from 3-point land in preseason – including 20-point performance with six 3s last Sunday.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 15, 2022
This is a great accomplishment for Ryan, who found himself out of the league completely as recently as 2020. The 25-year-old likely won’t get any minutes to start the season but there’s no doubt the Lakers will have a need for his shooting ability at some point so it will be up to him to stay ready for when that opportunity comes.
With Ryan now sticking around, the Lakers’ roster is complete, at least to start the season.
The Lakers will have until January to decide if they want to guarantee Ryan’s contract for the rest of the year. If they don’t, they can either waive him or use his contract as salary ballast in trades.
Lakers expected to re-engage teams on Westbrook trades during season
Even though the Lakers’ roster is set for the season opener, it remains to be seen how long it will stay that way.
Head coach Darvin Ham has already opted to move Russell Westbrook to the bench and if that doesn’t work out, L.A. is expected to re-engage teams on trade talks involving the former MVP once the season starts.
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