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Three years ago, Joe Ingles came to the Utah Jazz, acquired from the scrap heap. He was cut by the Los Angeles Clippers, with coach Doc Rivers choosing to keep Jared Cunningham. And when the Jazz acquired him, it was assumed he was on the roster because of his relationship with then-rookie Dante Exum.

Three years later, Ingles is perhaps Utah's most important role player. On Saturday, the Jazz made sure he'll get paid like it.

Ingles — a restricted free agent — has finalized a four-year, $52 million deal to return to the Jazz, his agent Mark Bartelstein told The Tribune. The deal is fully guaranteed, and doesn't contain an option. Ingles has repeatedly expressed his desire to return to Utah. The Jazz were able to get the deal done without Ingles having to go on the market and return with an offer sheet from another team.

"We are really happy for Joe and the Jazz," Bartelstein said. "The Jazz stepped up big time, and to see Joe rewarded for his play and to see his journey is thrilling."

Ingles ended last season as Utah's starting shooting guard, but is normally the sixth man for the Jazz. He averaged 7.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game.

His value is in his shooting, defense and versatility. Ingles became one of the best shooters in the league last season, draining 44 percent from 3-point range. He can play — and guard — four positions. He's a very good passer and playmaker. He's one of the Jazz players on the roster who plays with an edge.

Ingles is also a close friend of star small forward Gordon Hayward, who is currently an unrestricted free agent. The two share Bartelstein as an agent and have forged a bond over the past few years.

Hayward met with the Miami Heat on Saturday. He will meet with the Boston Celtics on Sunday and the Jazz on Monday, before taking time to make his final decision.

Getting Ingles locked up before Monday's meeting was a goal for the Jazz. With Friday's trade for starting point guard Ricky Rubio, and Saturday's signing of Ingles, Hayward is now the final piece of Utah's initial free agency puzzle. They didn't want to enter Monday's meeting with Ingles' situation still outstanding.

Twitter: @tribjazz