Rolands Smits signs multi-year extension with Zalgiris

2023-05-25 12:53

Rolands Smits, one of the cornerstones of a successful EuroLeague campaign for Zalgiris Kaunas, will stay with the club until 2026.

Credit: ┼Ż
Credit ┼Ż

Zalgiris Kaunas have already started to construct the team for the upcoming season and their first move was to extend Rolands Smits, as the contract with the Latvian big man has been prolonged until the end of the 2025-2026 season.

The 27-year-old Latvian arrived to Kaunas from FC Barcelona last summer and quickly became one of the team’s most important players. In the EuroLeague, Smits appeared on the court in all 37 Zalgiris games and averaged 9.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.1 assists. 

The versatile Latvian is showing similar numbers in this season's Betsafe-LKL Championship. Smits averages 8.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game, as Zalgiris is on the brink of making the Finals.

3-pointers this season

Points made: 7,8
Accuracy: 36,1%
Place in standings: 16
Record max: 16
Record min: 2
Most made 3FGs: Rolands Smits

Despite the long duration of the contract, the deal allows the player to leave after each season, except this summer.

"The season is not over yet, we all want to win the Lithuanian championship, but me and my family are happy to stay in Kaunas for a longer period of time," Smits said after signing his new deal.

"The players here have all the right conditions, we have an incredible fan base, and I want to keep enjoying it. Moreover, I will play in a familiar environment, close to home, which makes me happy."

Zalgiris' head coach Kazys Maksvytis said that Smits' contribution wasn't a surprise.

"We knew what he could bring to the team. During the season we were convinced that we will need all of that in the future, so I am glad that these negotiations did not take long and we kept an important player," the Lithuanian tactician said.

Smits has played a total of 144 games in the EuroLeague, starting 57 times. Through his first four seasons in the competition, which all came with FC Barcelona, the forward appeared in 107 games and had 21 starts. During his first campaign with Zalgiris, he was a starter in 36 of his 37 appearances.

Smits began his career with Spanish side Fuenlabrada, where he was contracted between 2012 and 2017, before going on to join Barca. He returned to Fuenlabrada on loan in the 2017-18 campaign, but he spent the next four seasons in Barca's first team. 


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