Former Barcelona big man Rolands Smits signs with Zalgiris 18
Zalgiris Kaunas’ frontline will be strengthened by Latvian big man Rolands Smits. The 207 cm tall player, who celebrated his 27th birthday last week, has signed a two-year contract.
Smits has been playing for FC Barcelona for the last four years, and reached the EuroLeague Final Four for two consecutive seasons.
The versatile Latvian, who can play at the power forward and center positions, has come off the bench under Sarunas Jasikevicius and has been the understudy of Nikola Mirotic, the EuroLeague MVP, occasionally playing as a center.
In the Spanish championship, Smits averaged 5.2 points and 2.9 rebounds, shooting at a 35.3% clip from long range. In the EuroLeague, his stats were similar: 4.4 points and 3.1 rebounds in an average of 15 minutes on the court.
Born in Valmiera, Smits moved to Spain at the age of 16 and started his professional career with Fuenlabrada. During his time there, Smits was named the best young player in the EuroCup during the 2016-2017 season, which brought him to the attention of Barcelona.
Smits has played for the Latvian youth national teams of all ages and made his men’s team debut in 2014 at the age of 19.