The Utah Jazz have signed forward Royce O’Neale to a 4-year $36 million extension his agents confirmed to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Utah confirmed the initial report from ESPN in a press release.
Utah Jazz forward Royce O’Neale has agreed to a four-year, $36 million contract extension, agents Ty Sullivan and Steven Heumann of @caa_sports told ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 19, 2020
“Re-signing Royce to a long-term extension was a priority for our organization,” Jaxx vice president of basketball operations Dennis Lindsey said via the press release. “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.”
The 26-year-old O’Neale is a feel-good story, having come into the NBA after playing overseas for multiple teams. Utah signed the former Baylor product in 2017 after he participated in a free agent minicamp. The rest, as they say, is history. “Just the journey of how far I’ve come,” O’Neale said via a statement. “I’ve come a long way. “The fans are amazing. The place has grown on me. I’m still not a cold-weather guy, but I’m getting used to it. And then the team—it’s a great group of guys. We all fit in together. Since Day 1, I’ve felt welcome and comfortable. It’s something I wanted to be a part of.”
Royce O’Neale has taken on a starting role for one of the NBA’s hottest teams, filling in for the injured Mike Conley. This season, O’Neale has averaged 6.2 points, five rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game while playing stout defense. Utah, as a whole, has one of the league’s best defenses (10th-best defensive rating).