As of this writing, your Los Angeles Lakers are the worst three-point team in the NBA at 30.7%, according to Basketball Reference.
The fact that very few LA players can reliably convert their long-distance sight allows opposing defenses to focus on staying well inside the three-point line, where they can easily slip in the paint around the drives of stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis. and sixth man Russell Westbrook.
Currently, only four Lakers on the list are making at least 35% of their triples: shooting guard Lonnie Walker IV (35.7% on 5.1 attempts), reserve guard Austin Reaves (36.1% on 2.8 looks), rookie guard Max Christie (an unsustainable 54.5% on just 1.4 attempts) and small forward Matt Ryan (41.9% on 3.1 threes).
In today’s NBA, especially at a club focused on LeBron James, it’s pretty important to field an excess of high-level three-point threats, which might partially explain why LA got off to a brutal 3-10 start this year Has.
And two of those three-pointers haven’t even signed guaranteed contracts that will keep them with the team through the 2022-23 season!
One of them, Ryan, made it into LA’s standard 15-man roster as a training camp invitee as the team quickly realized they would need some help placing the floor.
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In 10 games for Los Angeles this season, the 25-year-old small forward is averaging 4.7 points on .341/.419/.800 shooting splits. What matters most isn’t that miserable field goal percentage, it’s his three-point shooting. 41.9% out of 3.1 attempts are excellent. Unfortunately, that and free-throw shooting (albeit at just .5 charity streaks a night) are the only skills he has at the NBA level at the moment.
ESPN’s Dave McMenamin writes that Ryan’s $1.64 million annual salary will be fully guaranteed after January 10, 2023. According to McMenamin, the 6’7-inch swingman is living on the $112,000 paid to him by the Boston Celtics in the 2021-22 season. He earned a bonus by appearing with the Celtics during their 2022 NBA Finals run (although he didn’t play a second for the team), which McMenamin reportedly parked in Ryan’s savings account.
McMenamin reveals that Ryan is currently staying at an extended-stay hotel near El Segundo, UCLA’s practice center, in LA. He still has to buy a car.
“I’m definitely not spending money this year,” Ryan noted.
Ryan commented on how he remains willing to contribute despite struggling with inconsistent seasons as a deep banker.
“I thought my ‘welcome to the NBA moment’ was after we made that big pitch, then we play Utah a few nights later and I pretty much didn’t do anything,” Ryan noted, per McMenamin. “One night you might have to save the day, the other night you’re literally not being asked to do anything. So it’s just a matter of staying ready and trying to be as consistent as possible.”