The Matt Ryan era in Minneapolis is seemingly over, as the Minnesota Timberwolves waived the yearlong tenured sharpshooter in order to convert guard Daishen Nix’s contract to a two-way deal.
Daishen Nix In
Nix will join Jaylen Clark and Luka Garza as the third two-way contract on the Wolves roster, as he rounded out the preseason in promising fashion.
As it presently stands, the Wolves have their three two-ways filled:— Jack Borman (@jrborman13) October 20, 2023
- Luka Garza
- Jaylen Clark
- Daishen Nix
Tyrese Martin is currently filling the final roster spot but is on a non-guaranteed deal and could be waived if Minnesota elects to go in a different direction there. https://t.co/1sTT2q4DhE
A former five-star recruit out of Fairbanks, Alaska, Nix posted a double-double against Maccabi Ra’anana with 19 points and 10 assists in a convincing win, and found a way to be disruptive in passing lanes. Notably, he shot 5-8 from 3-point land during the preseason as well.
After the game against Ra’anana, Head Coach Chris Finch mentioned Nix specifically as having “a lot of game,” and was tantalized but his ability to initiate and move the ball, as well as shoot as a bigger guard (Nix is 6’4 and built like a mini fridge). I wrote afterwards that Nix could be a really interesting option should the Wolves find themselves in an emergency situation for a guard, and it seems as though that’s the angle being taken.
Nix went undrafted after an up-and-down season with the G League Ignite, during which he scored 8.8 points on 38.4/17.6/71.4 shooting splits, 5.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists to 2.9 turnovers, 1.0 steals and 0.2 blocks in 26.5 minutes per game across 15 appearances. He landed with the Houston Rockets in 2021 as a free agent and mostly played in the G League for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, who won the G League title in 2021-22. Nix averaged 24.3 points, 9.7 rebounds, 8.7 assists to 5.0 turnovers, and 2.3 steals in three playoff games that season. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound playmaker will likely spend time in both Minnesota and Iowa, following the team’s trend of signing big guards this past summer.
Matt Ryan Out
Ryan finds his way out of Minnesota after a little less than one full season with the team. He a flickering bright spot in an early season Los Angeles Lakers team that struggled heavily, before being waived and picked up by the Wolves.
Matt Ryan will forever live in the hearts of Lakers fanspic.twitter.com/SLtRhPaeKx— Shiny✨Wilder✨ (@ShinyWilder) October 20, 2023
He appeared in 22 games for the Wolves last season, primarily in garbage time, and was inconsistent as a shooter, even though it was his primary role (38% from deep overall). While sparingly, it seemed at times he could find his way into the rotation with how shorthanded the Wolves were last season and how desperate at times shooting was needed in the lineup. He never really was able to find a rhythm, perhaps due to the nature of his role.
Ryan’s story is pretty interesting. He graduated from Vanderbilt, and transferred to Chattanooga for his final season. After college, he worked as a landscaper at a cemetery during the COVID-19 pandemic while working on his jumpshot, before finding his way into the league on a two-way deal with the Boston Celtics.
Here’s to hoping he finds another opportunity. It certainly seemed like he was a really good teammate and liked in the locker room. There better be a Matt Ryan tribute video when he finds his way back to Target Center this season.