Joe Ingles is finalizing a deal to return to the Utah Jazz, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The deal is worth $52 million over four years.
Ingles had a strong third season in Utah , averaging seven points per game on an incredible 44 percent three-point shooting as a key bench player in 24 minutes.
The Australian forward is also close friend with current unrestricted free agent Gordon Hayward, who Utah needs to retain to remain in the playoff picture. Hayward’s other frontrunner options include the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, who he visited on Saturday.
Ingles signing MIGHT have Gordon Hayward implications.
Ingles and Hayward share an agent, and this may move speculation from Hayward leaving Utah, which has seemingly picked up steam in the past few days. The close ties between Hayward and his former Butler head coach in Boston, Brad Stevens, keeps draw to the east as well, but Ingles’ early decision to stay could mean something about the Hayward sweepstakes.
Regardless, this is a good return for the Jazz.
Jazz fans should feel good that they at least won’t be losing Ingles, who was drawing interest from the Magic and others
With little cap room to add pieces, and being that Utah remains a small market, retaining players of any value is important.
Utah will get to keep Ingles throughout the rest of his prime years, as he is 29 years old, and given that his skill set revolves around deep-ball shooting, he’s set to age well.
Ingles staying in Utah is as good off the court as it is on.
Ingles has become a favorite in Salt Lake City, and even more so on a national scale after his exchange with the Warriors and Andre Iguodala, dissed the state of Utah during the teams’ playoff series.
"The problem with Utah is that you're just sitting there and your mind is, like, dead, because in L.A., you still got energy for the game," Iguodala told ESPN. "Because you're in L.A., you're like, 'Man, this is just the vibe in L.A.' but in Utah, it can kind of lull you to sleep. And then you've slept too long or I'm bored out of my mind and now you got to try to pump yourself up for the game. You know you're in the playoffs and you're supposed to be pumped anyway, but the vibe is just like, 'Man, let's just get out of here.'"
Ingles had a very Ingles response.
Jazz wing Joe Ingles said he'll pay for a car if the entertainment-seeking Warriors want to go to Las Vegas between games.— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) May 1, 2017
Then came these shirts.
. #nightlife available Saturday at @vivintarena pic.twitter.com/ySFiGSwPie— Steve Starks (@StevenStarks) May 3, 2017
Utah needed to keep Ingles’ fire.