Matt Ryan didn’t have to wait long to find a new employer after parting ways with the Los Angeles Lakers last week.
Ryan made 12 appearances for L.A. in 2022-23, averaging 3.9 points and 1.2 rebounds in 10.8 minutes per game. The 6-foot-6 forward proved to be a capable shooter, knocking down 37.1% of his 3-point attempts on 2.9 tries per night.
With outside shooting becoming one of the most important aspects of the game, players with size and a reliable jumper will always be in demand in today’s NBA. And hence, Ryan has already found a new team with The Athletic’s Shams Charania reporting the 25-year-old has signed a two-way deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves:
The Minnesota Timberwolves are signing ex-Lakers wing shooter Matt Ryan on a two-way NBA contract, sources tell me and @JonKrawczynski. Ryan had a solid stint for the Lakers, making 13 three-pointers over 12-game stretch.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 7, 2022
The Timberwolves have been struggling to shoot the ball well, attempting a bottom-10 11.1 triples per game and converting just 32.6% of them into points, a fourth-worst rate. Also, they have just lost Karl-Anthony Towns to a calf injury with the former No. 1 pick set to spend over a month on the sidelines.
Meanwhile, the Lakers reportedly wanted to open up a roster spot with Dec. 15 approaching — the day when players who got traded in the summer can change teams again. Therefore, they waived Ryan, who signed with L.A. on a one-year deal with a non-guaranteed salary.
The Purple and Gold might be looking to make a smaller trade involving Patrick Beverley or Kendrick Nunn in the coming weeks, hoping to further strengthen the team that has won eight of the last 11 games.
Ryan thankful for opportunity to play for Lakers
Ryan expressed nothing but love for the Lakers despite leaving the team last week. After the move became official, the forward tweeted: “Nothing but gratitude for the city of L.A. and the Lakers!
“Any opportunity to play in the NBA, let alone for this franchise, is special. Thank you. Now I’m excited for whatever is next!”
Ryan’s journey has been a heart-warming story as he went from going undrafted in the 2020 NBA Draft to working as a food delivery driver, to playing for the Boston Celtics and the Lakers.
He will also be remembered by L.A.’s fans for his buzzer-beater 3 that allowed the Purple and Gold to beat the New Orleans Pelicans in overtime earlier this season.
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