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Jazz sign Royce O’Neale to contract extension
The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has signed forward Royce O’Neale to a contract extension. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not released.
“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.”
“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.”
O’Neale (6-4, 222, Baylor) is in his third NBA season, averaging a career-high 6.2 points on 47.2 percent shooting and 44.3 percent from three, 5.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 29.6 minutes per contest. His 44.3 percent from three (54-of-122) is the sixth best three-point percentage in the NBA this season. The 26-year-old’s 210 rebounds are second on the team this season and his 54 three-point field goals rank fourth on the squad. Additionally, he has the 11th best assist-to-turnover ratio (3.21) and 16th best steal-to-turnover ratio (1.03) in the NBA this year.
The Killeen, Texas native has appeared in 193 games (59 starts) over three seasons with Utah, owning career averages of 5.3 points 3.8 boards and 1.7 assists in 21.1 minutes per contest. He’s competed in 16 games (five starts) in the postseason as a Jazzman, last year posting averages of 10.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 27.4 minutes in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
Originally signed by the Jazz on July 19, 2017, O’Neale participated in the Jazz’s 2016 free agent mini-camp and has additional professional experience overseas. He played for Gran Canaria in Spain during the 2016-17 season, averaging 8.3 points on 44.9 percent shooting, 5.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 20.6 minutes in 52 games (32 starts). He was the second-highest rated defender among all small forwards in the ACB, and also ranked second in rebound percentage (16.3) and fifth in assist percentage (17.1). He began his professional career with MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg of the German Bundesliga in 2015-16.