Utah Jazz: Joe Ingles wants to be back with the Jazz next season

First Published      Last Updated Jul 21 2017 07:34 pm

Jazz » A breakthrough season leaves the Aussie guard hoping for quick negotiation to stay in Utah.

Slow-Mo Joe wants his next deal fast tracked.

When July comes and the Aussie forward becomes a restricted free agent, Joe Ingles would like negotiations to be simple, speedy and allow the swingman to stay in Salt Lake City.

"Everyone knows that I want to come back," he said this week. "I couldn't think of a better place to come back. Hopefully it all works out and it's a nice, quick process."

The Jazz's top priority on July 1 will be trying to re-sign All-Star Gordon Hayward. Next up, general manager Dennis Lindsey would likely address his team's point guard situation, with veteran George Hill hitting the free agent market as well.

Ingles, however, shouldn't be overlooked. The 28-year-old entered the season planning to be a "fourth or fifth" wing on the Jazz's roster and finished the year as the team's starting two-guard, a consistent threat from behind the 3-point arc and a much improved defender whose relentlessness helped Utah win its first playoff series in seven years.

The only Jazzman to play in every game this season, he averaged 7.1 points per game and shot 44.1 percent from long range — a level of growth in his game that surprised even Ingles.

"I knew I could get better at some things and be a bit more consistent," he said. "But probably not at this level."

Now his improvement should get him a hefty raise.

The Jazz will have a chance to match any deal Ingles signs, though they will have to carefully weigh the risks during a summer in which they face myriad personnel decisions. Hayward, Hill and Ingless will all be free agents. So will backups Shelvin Mack and Jeff Withey. Meanwhile, forward Boris Diaw and point guard Raul Neto each have team options.

"You want to win," Ingles said. "You want to be part of a winning team. Obviously the organization is committed to that. Obviously the next step is keeping that team around."

Nearly all the Jazz free agents expressed a strong desire to return next season.

• Diaw, 35, would be owed $7.5 million if the Jazz picked up his option for next season.

"I don't expect any promises," he said. "I'm just in wait-and-see mode. I'm not sweating over it. I'm not anxious, but … I liked the season I had here. I enjoyed being here, so I would like to be back."

• Withey appeared in 51 games for the Jazz, averaging 2.9 points and 2.4 rebounds in limited action backing up Rudy Gobert.

"I really like Utah. I like the fans. This organization is great. The city is great. I feel like everybody supports the Jazz and that's what every player wants, to have the city behind them and the organization behind them," he said. "We'll see what happens."

• Neto, 24, found himself going from Jazz starter last season to a frequent DNP-CD. He would be owed $1.4 million next year.

"They have a lot of decisions to make," he said. "I don't know if I'll be here. I have a team option, but I don't know how it's going to be in the summer. I hope I'm here. I'm really happy."

• Mack was in and out of coach Quin Snyder's rotation in his second season with the Jazz, but averaged 12.3 points per game while starting in place of the injured Hill during the team's second-round playoff loss to the Warriors.

» Next page... Single page



Joe Ingles’ season

Games »  82

Points per game »  7.1

Assists per game » 2.7

Rebounds per game » 3.2

3-point pct. » 44.1