3 things to know about Matt Ryan, the Celtics’ new two-way player

Ryan fits a Celtics mold as a 6-foot-7 sharpshooter.

Matt Ryan
Former Chattanooga forward Matt Ryan signed a two-way deal with the Celtics. C.B. Schmelter/Chattanooga Times Free Press via AP

On Monday, the Celtics announced the signing of Matt Ryan, a 6-foot-7 guard who most recently played for the Grand Rapids Gold in the G-League.

Ryan joins the Celtics on a two-way contract, filling the void left by Sam Hauser who signed a guaranteed deal for the rest of the year earlier this month. Ryan and Brodric Thomas are now both on two-way contracts.

Here are three things to know about Ryan.

He’s a sharpshooter

Ryan’s numbers in the G-League aren’t mind-blowing, but he’s shown he can really hit from deep — most notably in a January game during which he buried nine 3-pointers en route to 34 points.

A few days later, Ryan poured in a career-high 39 points, one of three 30-point games he has put together this season. Ryan seems to be a microwave-type shooter who can heat up quickly. He can come off screens and hit off the bounce, and he fills the lane nicely in transition. Add his tall, lanky frame, and the Celtics have a player who fits their archetype.

Ryan underwent double hip surgery in high school

One hip issue is hard enough (just ask Isaiah Thomas), but Ryan’s junior season at Iona Prep — a crucial time in a player’s recruitment process — was cut short by double hip surgeries. He played in just eight games, and while most schools pulled out of his recruitment process, he said Notre Dame’s continued interest was a big reason he ultimately chose the school. Ryan rebounded nicely from his procedures and was named Mr. Basketball in the state of New York after averaging 20 points, eight rebounds, and five assists per game during his senior season.


After two years at Notre Dame, Ryan transferred to Vanderbilt. He played one year with the Commodores before transferring again to Chattanooga. Ryan was undrafted in 2020, and he joined the Cavaliers in 2021 for Summer League before signing a training camp deal with the Nuggets this past offseason that led to his stint in Grand Rapids.

The Celtics still have at least one open roster spot.

Signing Ryan to a two-way deal keeps at least one roster spot open for the time being, with the potential to add two more when the 10-day contracts for Kelan Martin and Malik Fitts run out. Adding Brodric Thomas — who has bounced back and forth between Maine and Boston — to the permanent roster is one option, especially if one or both of Martin and Fitts are let go. Presumably, the Celtics are also exploring the buyout market. If Ryan or Thomas impresses in the next few weeks and the Celtics want to keep them for the postseason, they will need guaranteed deals.

In any case, the Celtics continue to make it clear what type of player they hope to acquire. If you can shoot 3-pointers and you hit your head on a 6-foot-5 doorframe, find a way to get your resume in front of Brad Stevens.


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