Royce O’Neale reacts to signing 4-year extension with Jazz
Royce O’Neale is now ‘at ease’ after inking a hefty four-year extension with the Utah Jazz.
Per Eric Woodyard of ESPN, O’Neale is thankful for the four-year, $36 million contract extension he recently signed.
Jazz’s Royce O’Neale to ESPN on signing new extension: “I’m excited man. Just thankful for the opportunity and grateful for them to believe in me. Definitely puts me at ease.”
— Eric Woodyard (@E_Woodyard) January 19, 2020
— Royce O'Neale (@BucketsONeale00) January 19, 2020
To recall, O’Neale entered the league in 2015 as an undrafted prospect. From a bench playing limited minutes to a critical part of Quin Snyder’s starting five, O’Neale worked his way and eventually got the attention of the front office. During the signing, the Jazz pointed out the 26-year-old’s defense, shooting ability, and overall versatility as his main assets.
“Re-signing Royce to a long-term extension was a priority for our organization,” said Dennis Lindsey, Jazz executive vice president of basketball operations, per NBA.com. “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 42 games (39 starts), O’Neale is averaging 6.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 2.5 assists across 29.6 minutes. His efforts have been instrumental in the Jazz’s stellar 29-13 record which is tied for third in the West. This included a 10-game winning streak which turned the Jazz into a much more serious playoff contender.
The signing signifies that the Jazz are willing to forge a long-term commitment with the forward. After all, he was set to become a restricted free agent this summer. The Jazz didn’t want other teams to have a crack at him in the free-agent market.