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Utah Jazz sign Royce O'Neale to three-year deal, Eric Griffin to two-way contract

Published July 17, 2017 6:42 pm

NBA • Utah signs O'Neale and Griffin for depth at forward.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Jazz might not put an All-Star at small forward on the floor this season, but there will be some competition at the position.

The organization has made additional moves to add depth on the wing, signing forward Royce O'Neale to a three-year deal and signing summer league standout Eric Griffin to the team's first-ever two-way contract.

With the 6-foot-5 O'Neale and 6-8 Griffin in the fold, the Jazz will have no shortage of candidates for the action minutes vacated by Gordon Hayward.



O'Neale comes to Utah from Spain, where he averaged 7.3 points and 4.8 rebounds in 32 games for Herbalife Gran Canaria. The Baylor product was reportedly signed to Lithuanian club Zalgiris Kaunas in June, but his contract with the Jazz is for three years, with the first year guaranteed.

O'Neale, 24, played in a Jazz free agent mini-camp last year, and Utah came to admire his game but was unable to add him for the 2016-17 season. O'Neale has not played an NBA game, but played for the Golden State Warriors in summer league last year.

Griffin also has played in Europe, but he caught Utah's eye with his summer league play this year. The 27-year-old averaged 10.8 points and 7.8 rebounds in four games in Las Vegas, and averaged 8.7 points and 6.0 rebounds in three games in Utah. His rim-rocking dunks also caught the attention of the crowd.

A graduate of Campbell College in North Carolina, Griffin has played in Europe and the G-League. He most recently played in Israel.

Under the new collective bargaining agreement, Griffin will be able to spend up to 45 days on the Jazz roster while making a pro-rata NBA salary. He'll make a standard G-League salary when sent down to the Salt Lake Stars. Each NBA team has up to two two-way contracts at their disposal this season.

The O'Neale signing puts the Jazz at 16 (one over the limit) on the roster next season, which could put heat on other players down the bench. Point guard Raul Neto is non-guaranteed for next season, while forward Joel Bolomboy is partially guaranteed.

Utah has been busy recently, making three frontcourt signings — Thabo Sefolosha, Jonas Jerebko and Ekpe Udoh — last week in addition to O'Neale and Griffin.

kgoon@sltrib.com and tjones@sltrib.com

Twitter: @kylegoon and @tribjazz

 

 

 

 

 

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