SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz didn't wait long to nab their first free agent.
On Saturday night, the Jazz agreed to terms on a four-year, $52 million contract with Joe Ingles, according to multiple sources.
That, by the way, is exactly what both sides hoped to accomplish this offseason.
"I couldn’t think of a better place to come back," Ingles said during his exit interview after the Jazz lost to the Warriors in the second round in May. "Hopefully, it all works out and it’s a nice quick process and we can get back here as soon as possible."
Multiple teams had interest in Ingles, but the wing made it clear that he hoped to return to the team that helped him make the transition from international basketball to the NBA three years ago.
Signing the 29-year-old Ingles, which will happen when the NBA moratorium ends on July 6, was one of the Jazz's offseason priorities.
The Jazz also wanted to secure a veteran point guard, which they did Friday afternoon when they traded for 26-year-old Ricky Rubio. Utah sent Oklahoma City's 2018 first-round pick to the Thunder in exchange for the dynamic passer.
Ingles averaged 7.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists last year, his third season in Utah. Most importantly, the 6-foot-8 wing provided the Jazz with terrific 3-point shooting (44.1 percent) and solid defense.
It was a surprising turn of events considering Ingles began the season outside of the regular rotation before he embraced the opportunity he got due to injuries to Jazz wings.
Ingles has averaged 5.5 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.1 assist with the Jazz after spending most of his professional career overseas. The Australian previously played pro ball in Israel (2013-14), Spain (2009-13) and in his native land (2006-09).
The Jazz quickly claimed Ingles off of the waiver wire after the Los Angeles Clippers, one of the teams that hoped to sign him this offseason, let him go in the week leading up to the 2014-15 season.
Utah now hopes to land its biggest priority, All-Star small forward Gordon Hayward. The star had a very good meeting with Miami on Saturday, will spend Sunday with the Boston Celtics and is scheduled to return home to the Beehive State on Monday to chat with the Jazz about a possible future together.
Notably, Ingles is Hayward's best friend on the Jazz. They share the same agent, Chicago-based Mark Bartelstein.
Ingles, of course, would hope to continue his Jazz career with his buddy by his side, but the humorous athlete is happy to be back where his late-blooming NBA career began.
"I love Utah," Ingles said. "Before I came here, it wasn't on my bucket list to visit, but once you get here — (me) with Renae and the kids — it was perfect. Hopefully, I have a lot more to go."
At least four more years.