Jazz sign Royce O’Neale to a contract extension

Sports

O'Neale signs reported 4-year, $36-million deal

Utah Jazz forward Royce O’Neale (23) handles the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Royce O’Neale has made quite an impression on the Jazz since signing with the team two and a half years ago, and the Jazz have rewarded him with a contract extension.

According to ESPN, the 4-year deal is worth $36-million.

O’Neale could have become a restricted free agent at the end of the season, but negotiated a long-term deal that keeps him with the franchise that signed him out of Europe in 2017.

“Re-signing Royce to a long-term extension was a priority for our organization,” said Dennis Lindsey, Jazz executive vice president of basketball operations. “Royce is an elite defender and has really shown the ability to spread the floor with his shooting. We feel he brings a versatility to our team that’s vital to our success. We’re happy that we were able to retain not only a great player in Royce, but also a tremendous person.”

In his third NBA season, O’Neale has become a full-time starter for the Jazz and is averaging career highs in minutes (30), points (6.2), rebounds (5.0) and assists (2.5). He’s become a quintessential 3-and-D specialist, guarding elite opposing players and shooting 44.3 percent on three-pointers this season.

O’Neale is one more Utah organizational success story of evaluation and player development. After going undrafted out of Baylor, O’Neale played two seasons overseas before signing with the Jazz.

“Just the journey of how far I’ve come,” O’Neale said. “I’ve come a long way.”

“We’ve been really pleased with Royce’s development over the past two-and-half seasons with us,” said Jazz General Manager Justin Zanik. “His progress is a testament to the work ethic he has brought to our team since his first training camp. We’re excited to watch him grow even more in a Jazz uniform.”

The Jazz next host Indiana Monday night.

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