Royce O’Neale is back in his starting role for the Utah Jazz, and based on what we have seen, he should remain in that role permanently.
It’s been an up-and-down season for the Utah Jazz. You can say the same thing about a number of Jazz players. One player that has been consistent from game one to game fifty-nine, though, is Royce O’Neale.
The well-rounded forward, who went undrafted out of Baylor in 2015, has started all but nine games this season for the Utah Jazz. On February 1st, he was moved to the bench, but he’s since been placed back in the starting lineup.
The Jazz are now back to the starting lineup they used during the first game of the season. In my eyes, this is the lineup that will give them the best chances of finding a consistently dangerous unit.
If O’Neale is starting, that means that Joe Ingles will be coming off the bench. This gives Utah two starting-caliber players in Ingles, along with Jordan Clarkson, coming off their bench. They’ll provide the Jazz with a lethal scorer (Clarkson) and elite playmaker (Ingles) in the second unit.
The Jazz have a record of 34-15 with O’Neale as a starter and a record of 3-6 as a reserve.
Whether he’s starting or coming off the bench, O’Neale has proven to be a critical piece to Utah’s foundation. That’s why the Jazz awarded him with a four-year, $36 million contract extension back in January.
With all of that being said, let’s get into this and take a look at the first reason why Royce O’Neale should remain a starter for the Utah Jazz.