NBA Rumors: Royce O’Neale to Sign 4-Year, $44M Contract to Return to Suns in 2024 FA

Timothy LogoFeatured Columnist IVJune 29, 2024

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - APRIL 28: Royce O'Neale #00 of the Phoenix Suns reacts to a three-point shot against the Minnesota Timberwolves during the first half of game four of the Western Conference First Round Playoffs at Footprint Center on April 28, 2024 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Royce O’Neale is sticking around the desert.

The veteran forward reportedly intends to sign a four-year, $44 million contract to return to the Phoenix Suns, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

O’Neale, 32, averaged 7.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists for the Brooklyn Nets and Suns in the 2023-24 season, shooting 39.7 percent from the field and 37 percent from three across 79 games.

He joined Phoenix in a three-team trade with Brooklyn and the Memphis Grizzlies in February alongside David Roddy, in a deal that sent Keita Bates-Diop and Jordan Goodwin to the Nets and Yuta Watanabe and Chimezie Metu to the Grizzlies.

Because the Suns came into the offseason with $150.7 million tied up in Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal alone—and still had to pay Jusuf Nurkić ($18.1 million), Grayson Allen ($15.6 million) and Nassir Little ($6.8 million) as well—they didn’t have many avenues for improving the depth chart. But they did hold O’Neale’s Bird rights and couldn’t afford to lose a role player of his caliber, so his re-signing always seemed likely.

It makes sense. O’Neale is the sort of 3-and-D wing that a top-heavy team like the Suns needs to keep some semblance of roster balance.

The Suns are going to have to get creative around the fringes of the roster if they hope to shake things up after last year’s disappointing first-round ouster—and hope their stars stay healthy, alongside Beal bouncing back after his year one struggles—but O’Neale was always a logical player to keep around.

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