When the Los Angeles Lakers are in the news, it is usually about superstars, LeBron James, Anthony Davis or Russell Westbrook. But this season, one new name keeps popping up. Matt Ryan has not gotten much playing time this year, but when he does he has made it count. So who is the Lakers’ Matt Ryan?
Matt Ryan is a New York native, who started his collegiate career at Notre Dame. After two seasons, Ryan felt he was not getting as much playing as he would have liked, and transferred to Vanderbilt University.
He sat his entire first season at Vanderbilt, due to transferring During his second season, he was promoted to starter. Although his newfound role did not last very long. The following season, head coach Bryce Drew was fired and replaced by two-time NBA all-star Jerry Stackhouse.
After the coaching shakeup at Vanderbilt, Ryan transferred once again. This time he went to the University of Tennessee.
He finished his college basketball career in Tennessee just three days before the world went into lockdown due to Covid-19. Ryan went undrafted in the 2020 draft. This was not much of a surprise to Ryan or anyone around him. He averaged 7.9 points and 0.9 assists throughout his college career.
Ryan’s plan was to get workouts with NBA teams looking to sign undrafted players. Unfortunately, for Ryan, Covid-19 restrictions made it difficult to even secure a workout with an NBA team.
He went the entire 2020 season without getting signed. Instead of using his economics degree from Vanderbilt to get a job, he decided to keep trying his hand at the NBA.
He worked out in his high school gym every day, while working in a local cemetery at night. During his free time, he worked as a delivery driver for UberEats and DoorDash.
In 2021 the Cleveland Cavaliers signed him to a Summer League contract. During his four Summer League games, his play began to spark interest. His 26.5 points per game were not enough to get signed by the Cavaliers. Instead, the Denver Nuggets added him to their G League team, the Grand Rapids Gold.
He would later sign a two-way deal with the Boston Celtics and their G League team the Maine Celtics. Ryan only played five minutes with the Boston Celtics last season.
This off-season, Ryan was an unrestricted free agent. He worked out for the Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets during the off-season. The Lakers brought him on as a non-guaranteed camp signee.
Ryan began making a name for himself during the preseason shooting 35.5 percent from deep. Through the first eight games, Ryan has had limited playing time, but has taken advantage of each moment. He is currently averaging 6.7 points and 13.3 minutes per game.
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