The Phoenix Suns bolstered their roster yesterday by signing Royce O’Neal, who has playoff experience and can bring what is needed off the bench.The 6-foot-6 O’Neal spent his second season with the Brooklyn Nets before being traded, averaging 7.4 points and 4.5 rebounds in 24.5 minutes per game in 49 games .
Phoenix sent four players to Brooklyn and the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for three second-round picks and picks for O’Neal and David Roddy.”I was at home playing Call of Duty (when I got the news),” O’Neill said. “I was so excited. It was surreal to hear the story as the days went by and the time went by.
Just the opportunity and the excitement, playing with players I’ve played with and new players, I’m excited to be here.O’Neal, 30, is now in his seventh NBA season after spending his first two years overseas, then five years with the Utah Jazz and the last year and a half with the Nets.While in the NBA, O’Neal appeared in 44 playoff games, averaging 8.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.0 assists.
His most memorable game came as Utah advanced to the Western Conference semifinals as the No. 1 seed in the 2021 playoffs. O’Neal averaged 11.3 points and 7.3 rebounds while shot 50.6% from the field and 46.7% from deep in 11 playoff games as a starting pitcher. General manager James Jones and coach Frank Vogel praised O’Neal’s playoff history and how it will affect his role on the team.(Validity) will be uniform.
You just have to look at his track record,” Jones said. “He played with very good players on very good teams and led them to success. He is not afraid. About it. We enter the scary but exciting run in the Western Conference playoffs. “Competitors have expectations, and fortunately we’ve added someone in Royce who is looking forward to the challenge.”So what will O’Neal bring to the Suns on the court? “It’s a small thing,” O’Neill said. “All intangible assets.
Become a dirty player, kill open shots and try to make your teammates better in every possible way. Learn from them any way you can and take us as far as you can.”Two of O’Neal’s defining characteristics are his high-level defense and his 3-point shooting ability. Both of those aspects will be invaluable to the Suns, and as Vogel pointed out, they’ll take some of the defensive burden off Durant.But O’Neal is also an excellent passer, with a career assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.4 to 1.0. O’Neal enjoyed watching the Suns record 37 assists against the Jazz yesterday.”Honestly, I prefer assists over buckets.” O’Neill said.
“We have a lot of players in our team who can score goals. “I can score goals too, but I have to be a good playmaker when I have to, get those guys involved and win as many games as possible.”Another small aspect of O’Neal’s game that he has contributed to is his pump fake technique, which he calls his “special little talent.”O’Neal has experience playing with two Suns players. He played half a season alongside Kevin Durant and Grayson Allen in Brooklyn during Allen’s debut season in Utah (2018-19).O’Neal said he was fortunate to share the court with Durant after watching him throughout his high school and college career while growing up in Texas. He added of Durant:
“He said we’ll still be teammates even after he’s gone, so here we are.”After the win over the Jazz, Durant praised O’Neal’s ability to do it all and himself as a person.”I’m happy for him,” Durant said. “I love being around Reus and I look forward to continuing to work with him as an individual and as a team. He plays very hard, he loves the game and he loves his teammates. I think the same goes for the people in this valley. I see and this. I like to look at it.”Continuing Durant’s comments about O’Neal off the court, O’Neal said what he wants Suns fans to know about him: “Royce O’Neill: He brings it every game. “The most wonderful man you will ever meet.”O’Neal is expected to make his Suns debut tomorrow against the Golden State Warriors.