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Jazz executive Dennis Lindsey says Utah rewarded Royce O’Neale’s ‘patience’ with extension

Royce O'Neale, Dennis Lindsey, Jazz

The Utah Jazz officially announced they had come to terms on a four-year, $36 million extension with forward Royce O’Neale on Sunday afternoon, due in part to O’Neale’s work ethic and determination.

Jazz executive Dennis Lindsey said the team wanted to wait to make O’Neale a part of their future plans until they felt they had a sufficiently competitive product. Now that the Jazz have surged back into contention in the Western Conference, O’Neale has been rewarded with a nice payday:

Lindsey also stressed he did not want O’Neale to force the issue or feel the need to “prove” he deserves the contract, per The Salt Lake Tribune’s Andy Larsen:

Lindsey stated O’Neale’s versatility made extending him a “priority” (via Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN):

“Re-signing Royce to a long-term extension was a priority for our organization,” Jazz executive vice president of basketball operations Dennis Lindsey said in a statement Sunday. “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.”

O’Neale has been a very capable two-way forward for Quin Snyder’s team. The third-year man out of Baylor has started in 39 of Utah’s 42 games this season, averaging 6.2 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists while shooting over 44 percent from beyond the arc and drawing the toughest defensive assignments.

The surging Jazz have won 16 of their last 18 games and are currently just 0.5 games back of the Denver Nuggets for the second spot in the West.

In any case, O’Neale will remain in Salt Lake City for the foreseeable future.