Jazz

O’Neale Solidifies Place in Utah’s Long-Term Vision

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The Utah Jazz made big news on Sunday after reaching a contract extension agreement with 3&D forward Royce O’Neale. The deal is worth $36 million over the next four years.

The Jazz retain their best perimeter defender and someone who guards the opposing team’s best scorer each night. Along with his versatility on defense, O’Neale is also a force on the offensive side of the ball. In his third year with the Jazz, O’Neale is averaging a career-high 6.2 points per game. His gradual increase in scoring can be attributed to how much better he has been from behind the three-point line each season so far. O’Neale has been great in catch-and-shoot scenarios, and his 44.3 shooting percentage from deep — good for 6th best in the league — shows that.

Royce’s Impact Without Stats

O’Neale has been a seamless fit for the Jazz. During an interview on Monday, Jazz teammate Bojan Bogdanovic said, “His unselfishness both offensively and defensively is huge for us, he sacrifices himself for all of us each night and that’s big time”. This style of play that Bogdanovic alluded to has led to winning ways every since O’Neale joined the Jazz in 2017.  Those types of plays include going after loose balls, spacing the floor, or simply making the right pass on offense. Regardless of the scenario, when Royce O’Neale is in the game, he makes the right play on both sides of the ball and the Jazz are a better team because of it. Since O’Neale has been a member of the Jazz, they have yet to miss the playoffs.

After the signing, there was an array of reactions from teammates and members within the Jazz organization. One of the notables came from Jazz executive vice president of basketball operations, Dennis Lindsey. He said, “Re-signing Royce to a long-term extension was a priority for our organization”. Many of O’Neale’s teammates also reacted on Twitter sending their reactions to the signing as well.

https://twitter.com/Joeingles7/status/1218951137191067650

https://twitter.com/MCONLEY10/status/1218946195273371654

By reaching this deal, The Jazz hope that O’Neale can continue to have this impact for the years to come.

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