Northwest Notes: O’Neale, Covington, Timberwolves

The fourth and final year of Royce O’Neale‘s extension is partially guaranteed, Tony Jones of The Athletic tweets. The Jazz signed the forward to a four-year, $36MM extension on Sunday. O’Neale’s first three years during the extension, which kicks in next season, are fully guaranteed. He’ll receive $8.5MM in 2020/21, $8.8MM in 2021/22 and $9.2MM in 2022/23, according to The Athletic’s John Hollinger, who notes that the partially guarantee on O’Neale’s $9.5MM salary in 2023/24 will be $2.5MM.

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • O’Neale’s ability to guard four positions makes the extension a worthwhile investment for the Jazz, Ben Dowsett of Forbes.com opines. O’Neale is the fastest player on the team and also the best rebounder other than the team’s centers, Dowsett continues. The forward might have received offers at or above the four-year, $51MM maximum extension Utah could have offered him if the team had allowed him to enter restricted free agency, Dowsett adds.
  • Robert Covington has heard his name bandied about in trade rumors but the Timberwolves forward is trying to block out the speculation, as he told Chris Hine of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The Rockets were reportedly pursuing Covington, who is signed through the next two seasons, though their interest has apparently waned. “I’m not even focused on that,” Covington said. “My main focus is this team and what I do every day. I’m not going to get caught up in rumors or hype or what not.”
  • Covington, Gorgui Dieng and Andrew Wiggins are some of the players who have exceeded preseason expectations for the Timberwolves, Britt Robson of The Athletic writes while handing out his midseason grades.
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