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.
The Jazz announced the extension Sunday, but did not provide any contract details.
“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.”
Although he could’ve become a restricted free agent this summer, O’Neale and his reps at CAA Sports — including Sullivan, Heumann and Richard Beda — negotiated a long-term deal that keeps him with the franchise that signed him out of Europe in 2017.
“I’m staying here for a while,” O’Neale said Sunday in a statement.
O’Neale, 26, has proved to be an essential element to the Jazz’s elite NBA defense and elevation into the fourth seed in the Western Conference. In his third NBA season, O’Neale has become a full-time starter for the Jazz and is averaging career highs in minutes (30), points (6.2), rebounds (5.0) and assists (2.5). He’s become a quintessential 3-and-D specialist, guarding elite opposing players and shooting 44.3 percent on three-pointers this season.
O’Neale is one more Utah organizational success story of evaluation and player development. After going undrafted out of Baylor, O’Neale played two seasons overseas before signing with the Jazz.
“Just the journey of how far I’ve come,” O’Neale said. “I’ve come a long way.”