Zalgiris Kaunas forward Rolands Smits has been rewarded with a contract extension until the end of the 2025-26 season, following an impressive debut campaign at the Lithuanian club. Smits (2.08 meters, 27 years old) joined Zalgiris last summer from FC Barcelona and went on to play a key role in the team reaching the playoffs, where it lost in three games to the Blaugrana. The Latvia international had his best season in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague to date in 2022-23, averaging 9.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.1 assists and a 9.4 PIR.
Rolands Smits signs contract extension at Zalgiris until 2026
"The season is not over yet, we all want to win the Lithuanian championship, but my family and I are happy to stay in Kaunas for a longer period of time. 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 [Latvia], which makes me happy," Smits told Zalgiris's official website.
“When we signed Rolands last summer, we already 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,” added Zalgiris head coach Kazys Maksvytis.
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 Barca, 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 to 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. Then, in the summer of 2022, Smits took the decision to leave Spain for the first time in his career and begin an adventure in Lithuania with Zalgiris. Now, Zalgiris fans can look forward to seeing Smits for another three years.