MATES: Utah Jazz duo Gordon Hayward (left) and Australian Joe Ingles who has just signed a huge contract with the club.
MATES: Utah Jazz duo Gordon Hayward (left) and Australian Joe Ingles who has just signed a huge contract with the club. MIKE NELSON

Ingles' big payday could lure mate to stay with Jazz

JOE Ingles re-signing with the Jazz didn't just make history as the richest deal for an Australian in the NBA, it is also a key move in retaining a big name in Utah.

Ingles confirmed his new deal with the Jazz - an Australian NBA record of $US52 million over four years - in an Instagram post on Monday.

"Family. This is my first thought when [I] think of the Jazz organisation," Ingles said.

"Renae and I could not be happier to be in Utah with our twins for another four years. Huge thank you to the Miller family, president Steve Starks, GM Dennis Lindsey, coach Q [Quin Snyder]. I'm excited about our team and the future we have together."

Ingles' teammate and unrestricted free agent Gordon Hayward has been a huge target for other teams in free agency, with the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat hoping to lure him away from Salt Lake City.

However the news of Ingles signing with Utah may make Hayward stay put.

Reports from the US suggested that it could well have been the reason they offered so much for Ingles.

"Re-signing Ingles and trading for point guard Ricky Rubio were significant parts of the Jazz's plan to assemble a roster that appeals to Hayward," ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said.

"Joe Ingles' long, strange basketball journey has culminated in the payday of a lifetime, and it just might be enough to help sway Gordon Hayward to stay in Utah," Ben Golliver from Sports Illustrated wrote.

"By keeping Ingles in the fold ... the Jazz have sent a clear message to Hayward: We're serious about progressing further towards championship contention.

Ingles and Hayward are both represented by Priority Sports with agent Mark Bartelstein, and they are also good friends.

But how much could that really affect Hayward's decision?

"Ingles, of course, would hope to continue his Jazz career with his buddy [Gordon Hayward] by his side," Deseret News' Jody Genessy said.

However Yahoo Sports' Dan Devine is sceptical that Hayward will hold Ingles' friendship and on-court chemistry alone as reason enough to stay with the Jazz.

"No, the Jazz didn't re-sign Ingles because he's Hayward's buddy, and no, Hayward's not going to re-sign in Utah just because Lindsey [Jazz GM] kept his friend around, Devine said.

"Whether that'll be enough to convince him to stay put rather than absconding to Boston or Miami remains to be seen; now, though, we know his pal Joe's going to be taken care of either way."

Last season the South Australian averaged 7.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists. His reliable defence and three-point shooting accuracy (44.1%) made for a standout year with stats clearly indicating his team played better with him on the court.

Ingles also notched career-highs in assists and points during the 2016-17 season that saw the Jazz make the playoffs and even claim a first-round series win - not done since 2010 - before being bundled out by eventual champions, Golden State.

News Corp Australia


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