When the Lakers reportedly parted ways with Matt Ryant last week in the immediate aftermath of the team’s win over the Blazers, it came with a sense of expectation. With so many trade rumors surrounding the team, most fans thought the roster move was a precursor to a trade, opening up a roster spot to complete an unbalanced deal.
Clearly, at least in the short term, that was not the case. But fans weren’t alone in having that feeling when the move was made. In fact, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, executives around the league had a keen eye on the Lakers last Wednesday.
After waiving Matt Ryan, some executives are wondering if the Lakers will look to make a roster upgrade around the edges, given Russell Westbrook’s production off the bench for the team, and they’ve been hot lately over their last 10 games.
Ultimately, it was a bit of odd timing for the release even if it cost the Lakers nothing to do it when they did. In fact, it saved the Lakers some money on luxury taxes to waive him when they did, though I’m sure that’s just a happy coincidence.
But really, the Lakers have held open a roster spot in seasons past and seem to prefer that path. With the team fully healthy once again and Ryan already finding himself well out of the rotation outside of garbage time, there were going to be no minutes available for him.
So, pair him being on a non-guaranteed with the Lakers history, particularly under vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka, to have an open roster spot and waiving Ryan makes more sense.
And for those concerned about Ryan, he did enough to earn another shot around the league as the Timberwolves reportedly signed him on Tuesday night.
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 Lakers are in perfectly fine shape without him and he’s in perfectly fine shape without them. It all worked out happily ever after in the end.