Jazz’s Royce O’Neale agrees to four-year extension
The Utah Jazz have come to terms on a four-year, $36 million extension with forward Royce O’Neale, according to ESPN NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski:
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
O’Neale has been a reliable frontcourt staple in Utah this season. The veteran has started in 39 of 42 games while averaging 6.2 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists.
Moreover, the 26-year-old gives Jazz head coach Quin Snyder options with respect to his lineups. O’Neale can play the role of an undersized four-man because of his physical stature. He also provides Utah with much-needed floor spacing.
O’Neale is shooting over 44 percent from beyond the arc on nearly three attempts per game. His ability to step out and shoot the three while also making plays in the half court is invaluable for the Jazz, especially in light of Mike Conley’s long absence.
The third-year pro has increased his overall productivity with more minutes. He also takes some of the pressure off the likes of Donovan Mitchell and Bojan Bogdanovic by routinely taking on the toughest defensive assignments.
Utah are one of the most well-balanced teams in the NBA. The Jazz rank eighth in offensive rating and ninth in defensive rating, according to Basketball Reference. They have won 16 of their last 18 games entering Monday night’s game against the Indiana Pacers, and now Conley has returned and will slowly work his way back into the rotation.
For now, however, Utah’s strength lies in their depth and the ability of players like O’Neale to provide the intangibles. The Jazz are making sure the former Baylor man is part of their future plans.