July 01, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Forward Joe Ingles agreed to a four-year contract to remain with the Utah Jazz on Saturday, who are also hoping to retain Gordon Hayward.

Priority Sports announced the deal on Twitter, which ESPN first reported was worth $52 million.

Ingles was a restricted free agent who would have drawn interest from other teams. But the Jazz locked up the Australian on the first full day of free agency and can now turn their attention to Hayward, their All-Star forward who met with the Miami Heat on Saturday.

Ingles averaged a career-best 7.1 points in his third NBA season, then helped the Jazz knock off the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the playoffs. His career-high 44.1 3-point percentage ranked third in the league. Ingles grew into one of coach Quin Snyder's most trusted and durable players who started in spots, could play lead guard and developed into a defensive stopper.

Ingles is close with Hayward and made it clear at the end of the season that he wanted to return, along with Hayward.

The Jazz traded for Ricky Rubio on Friday to bolster the point guard positon as George Hill is an unrestricted free agent. Rubio and Ingles played together in Spain before Rubio left for the NBA in 2011.

General manager Dennis Lindsey said retaining Utah's own free agents was a top priority. Ingles returned, but Hill is likely gone after the Rubio signing. Hayward remains one of the marquee names available in free agency this offseason.

Utah returned to the postseason in 2017 with its first 50-win season since 2009-10 and a playoff berth for the first time since 2012.

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