While many Boston Celtics fans are awaiting a contract extension for one of their returning stars, a new star recently added to the mix got an extension before even stepping on the court in the green and white.
On Thursday, Kristaps Porzingis finally broke his silence about the blockbuster deal that brought him to the Celtics to join the All-NBA duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. That move also comes with a two-year, $60 million extension which will keep the 27-year-old big man in Boston through his prime.
If or when Brown gets his extension, the Celtics will have a big three that should have the team competing for championships for the next 3-5 seasons at the very least. Obviously much of that depends on the health of Porzingis. If he stays healthy and forms chemistry with Tatum and Brown, Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens will add another stellar roster move to his resume.
Celtics bringing Kristaps Porzingis to Boston a smart move…no pun
Yes, even with that meaning the departure of Marcus Smart. While the Celtics are losing a high-energy guy, they are gaining a player at 7-foot-3 who is a unique talent. A player who is excited to see what he can bring to a historic franchise with championship aspirations.
"“[It] was an opportunity to play for a really good team already and be able to add to that,” Porzingis said when asked about decision to pick up his player option to allow for a trade to Boston. “And hopefully to help these guys, make their life easier, and being on a high-level organization like Boston, historic franchise, iconic franchise, it made it extremely easy for me to make that decision.”"
Again, the injury history has the excitement level on pause, but boy if the Boston Celtics can get a healthy Porzingis who plays more than 60 games, they will be tough to beat. In coming off his best season in 2022, Porzingis averaged 23.2 points per game and 8.4 rebounds.
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Add that to Tatum and Brown and the Celtics will have a lethal big 3 and will finally have that elusive stretch big, which is a role Al Horford has been playing. Porzingis obviously brings more to the table especially entering his best years.
"“I think these are the best years for a basketball player,” Porzingis told the media in his introduction. “You are physically there, and mentally, you are getting to a different level. I think the work paid off for me. I looked at my game, I looked at how I could be more efficient and just really analyzed myself, and it paid off last season, all the work I put in off the court to stay healthy.”"
As far as that health, the player recognizes how he is viewed and went on to say that his “body is maturing,” which hopefully means a lot of high-level, high-energy basketball on the court in a Boston Celtics uniform.
That is at least what Porzingis is striving for and what the Celtics are hoping for as he will not only add another option scoring but will allow both Horford and Robert Williams to be even more effective on the boards as well as defensively.
In all, a risk move for Stevens that needed to be made and could be a high-reward one with the addition of a unique talent hitting his prime.