Pelicans add potential game changer right before season opener

Matt Ryan, Los Angeles Lakers. Dyson Daniels & Larry Nance Jr., New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Matt Ryan, Los Angeles Lakers. Dyson Daniels & Larry Nance Jr., New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

On Sunday, three days prior to their first regular season game against the Memphis Grizzlies, the New Orleans Pelicans made a waiver wire move to help bolster their roster. According to NBA Insider Shams Charania, the Pelicans signed Matt Ryan to a two-way deal off of waivers.

On the surface, this move may not seem like a big deal. But it could end up being a game-changer for the Pelicans.

As the tweet above suggests, this move will give the Pelicans more shooting to help space the floor for their offensive stars Zion Williamson and Trey Murphy III. Last season, Ryan shot 38.1% on 2.5 three-point attempts per game.

If anyone needed to add another shooter before the start of the season, it was the Pelicans. Last year, they finished 29th in 3-point attempts (a telltale sign that their roster doesn’t have a lot of shooters). And they are bringing back largely the same cast as the one they trotted out in 2022-23.

The team will also need someone to fill the void left by Trey Murphy III. The Pelicans avoided the worst with his left meniscus injury, but he will still be out at least another month while he recovers from surgery.  Clearly, Ryan is not as good of a player as Murphy. However, he’s a better shooter/spacer than guys like Dyson Daniels and Herbert Jones.

On top of that, the Pelicans just parted ways with Landers Nolley II – a sharpshooting undrafted rookie they signed shortly after the 2023 NBA Draft.

Devout Pelicans fans (as many of you readers obviously are) remember Ryan for this game-tying triple he hit against us early last season. His heroics led the game to overtime (and an eventual win for the Los Angeles Lakers).

Being that he was available to be signed this late in the game, it is likely that the Ryan move won’t amount to much for New Orleans in the grand scheme of things.
But hey, he burned us once before. So, why don’t we add him to the crusade and hope this marksman can go from Pelicans killer to New Orleans legend?

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