Suns officially re-sign Royce O’Neale

Jul 6, 2024, 2:50 PM

Royce O'Neale...

Royce O'Neale #00 of the Phoenix Suns celebrates his basket against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first quarter at Target Center on April 14, 2024 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

The Phoenix Suns re-signed forward Royce O’Neale to a four-year contract worth $44 million over four years, the team announced Saturday.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the news on June 29.

O’Neale posted on X to share the news.

The extension will keep the Suns’ trade deadline acquisition in the fold going forward, which will be helpful as the Suns deal with roster construction roadblocks in place due to the second apron of the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement.

The Suns — in a three-way trade with the Nets and Memphis Grizzlies — shipped out a trio of second-round picks, as well as Keita Bates-Diop, Jordan Goodwin, Chimezie Metu and Yuta Watanabe. Phoenix also acquired David Roddy in the trade.

Retaining O’Neale and eating significant tax dollars — like the Suns did with the Grayson Allen extension — appeared part of the plan since making the February deal to acquire him.

It gives Phoenix another rotation-caliber player to make another playoff run with Devin Booker, Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal on the roster. Beyond that, O’Neale’s deal is a tradeable contract down the road for a team that has little flexibility.

Under second apron rules for the 2024-25 season, the Suns cannot aggregate outgoing contracts in a trade, nor can they take back more than they send out.

O’Neale averaged 8.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists on 37.6% three-point shooting over 30 regular season games.

In the playoffs, he averaged 5.0 points and 4.8 rebounds on 32% shooting and 33% from three. O’Neale started two games for an injured Allen in a four-game first-round sweep by the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The 31-year-old was extension eligible at $20.5 million over two years, but he indicated to reporters ahead of the team’s first-round playoff series against the Minnesota Timberwolves that he was content waiting for when he hits unrestricted free agency in the summer.

“It’s a great place, team, organization. I mean it’s been great since I’ve been here since day one,” O’Neale said. “I’m trying not to focus on (the contract situation). That’s summertime.”

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