The Lakers officially have a complete roster heading into the start of the 2022-23 season.
Per a report from Shams Charania, later confirmed by Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times, Matt Ryan will not be waived before the start of the regular season, meaning he will be the 15th man on the Lakers roster.
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
Ryan has been a solid shooter during the preseason, making 35.5 percent of his 3-pointers. He had his coming out party against the Golden State Warriors in the Lakers’ lone preseason win, when he made 6-of-9 threes en route to 20 points. Darvin Ham made Ryan a more featured part of the rotation afterwards, giving him first-half minutes against the Wolves and the Kings so that Ryan could play with the team’s stars. That foreshadowed Ryan’s eventual promotion to the big roster.
Making an NBA roster is a tremendous story for Ryan, who couldn’t even score an invite to the G League bubble a year and a half ago after going undrafted in 2020. He was working in his grandfather’s cemetery and as a DoorDash driver before finally latching on with the Grand Rapids Gold (the Denver Nuggets G League team) in October 2021. Ryan eventually signed a two-way contract with Boston in April 2022. He had a strong Summer League for the Celtics, which got him on the Lakers’ radar for training camp this year, and the rest is history.
Lakers Matt Ryan didn't receive an invite to the G League Bubble and had to work at door dash & a Cemetery. Look at him now he just had 20 with the Lakers against the defending champs after having a strong summer league with Boston Celtics pic.twitter.com/8pX17dcaw1— Swish Cultures (@swishcultures_) October 12, 2022
Ryan will still be on a non-guaranteed deal, so he isn’t safe until the league-wide cutdown date in January, and even then, the Lakers could still waive him and eat his cap hit. For now, the Lakers are willingly paying an extra $60,000 in tax penalties daily to keep Ryan on the roster.
His inclusion on the team could suggest a bit of concern about the status of Troy Brown Jr., who has already been ruled out for opening night after missing the entire preseason. Presumably, Ryan is playing the minutes that would have been occupied by Brown.
For now, Ryan gets to live out his basketball dream of being an NBA player, a feat that would have seemed out of reach not even two years ago. His first game comes against the defending champions, a team that he actually performed quite well against less than a week ago. The Lakers scouting department has had a history of finding undrafted diamonds in the rough, perhaps Matt Ryan will be the latest name added to that list.