Marisa Peryer

Former Yale guard Miye Oni has inked his first NBA contract.

Slightly less than a month after selecting him with the 58th pick of the 2019 NBA draft, the Utah Jazz announced it had signed Oni to a professional deal Monday afternoon. Though team policy restricts release of the agreement terms, Jeff Siegel of Early Bird Rights reported the signing as a three-year minimum rookie contract. 

Desert News reported on Monday that Oni will wear number 24 with the Jazz, the same number he wore in his first two seasons with the Bulldogs and during his postgraduate year at Suffield Academy.

According to Early Bird Rights, Oni will earn the NBA rookie minimum — $898,310 for the 2019-20 season — during the guaranteed first year of his contract. Greater pay in accordance with the NBA’s minimum salary scale would accompany the second and third years of the deal, which are non-guaranteed.

Oni’s signing follows six summer league games in which the former Eli showcased his defense and range from deep. The Los Angeles native averaged 9.5 points, five rebounds, two steals and 1.6 assists in two games at the Salt Lake City Summer League — the second of which saw him finish with a team-high 17 points against the San Antonio Spurs — before averaging 8.2 points, 2.8 assists and two rebounds in four contests at the Las Vegas Summer League. 

“I’m trying to focus on getting better at every aspect of the game, really listening to my coaches and getting used to the stuff that we do in the program — not just focus on one game at a time, but focus on building and getting better every single day,” Oni told reporters after a July 11 loss to Portland in Las Vegas. “I’m just trying to fit into a team how I’d think I’d fit into a real team and play the same way every time.”

Players selected in the NBA draft, especially those picked in the second round, are not guaranteed a roster spot. NBA rules limit roster size to 15, and the league permits teams to activate only 13 players each game.

The Jazz took three prospects in the 2019 draft, and all selections occurred in the late second round: forward Jarrell Brantley with the 50th pick, guard Justin Wright-Foreman with the 53rd pick and Oni with the 58th. In signing Oni Monday and subsequently reaching a deal with French forward William Howard, the Jazz filled its fourteenth and fifteenth roster spots. Brantley and Wright-Foreman signed two-way contracts with the Jazz that allow them to split time between the NBA and the developmental G-League, but Oni is the team’s only 2019 draftee to sign a full NBA contract.

As draft night was drawing to a close, the Jazz and general manager Justin Zanik reportedly sent $2 million to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for the 58th pick, according to USAToday. Golden State technically drafted Oni before immediately trading his draft rights to Utah.

Beneficiaries of a hectic free agency period around the league, the Jazz returns only seven players, including two-time reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year center Rudy Gobert and guard Donovan Mitchell. Oni joins several fellow newcomers to Salt Lake City — among them guard Mike Conley, forward Bogdan Bogdanovic and forward Jeff Green — on a Jazz team some expect to make a deep playoff run in a realigned Western Conference.

Jason Glushon of Glushon Sports Management serves as Oni’s agent.

William McCormack | william.mccormack@yale.edu