The Boston Celtics officially announced Wednesday that center Kristaps Porzingis will receive a two-year, $60 million contract extension, keeping him in Boston until at least 2026. Boston acquired Porzingis in a deal with the Wizards last month.

At the time, Porzingis was the star of the trade but was nevertheless overshadowed by Marcus Smart’s departure for Memphis. Smart, a longtime Celtic and leader on the team, appeared to be a sacrifice by Boston to acquire a big man like Porzingis and better balance the roster. The center addressed this issue in an interview shortly after the trade.

“I think I’m going to have to prove it first on the court and then off the court,” Porzingis told NBC Sports reporter Chris Forsberg. “You cannot replace Marcus Smart. He was a special player and special for this organization and this community. But also I look forward to also bringing high effort and high energy — hopefully give a fire to this team and gain the fans’ respect and support.”

Following the Celtics’ shakeup, General Manager Brad Stevens said that it was the team’s goal to create a roster with better on-chemistry. The team has been notorious for its lack of size in recent seasons, with some claiming that it has prevented Boston from securing a championship despite nine straight postseason runs.


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“We’re trying to win and everybody is very supportive of that from the top down,” Stevens said. “We’re going to try to put our best foot forward and do that. The required part is the right talent to build around it. We’re very fortunate to have a lot of talented players. … We’ve got guys under contract here that are really good players. Building a team that fits around that in the best way we can is what we’re trying to do.”

The Celtics were pegged as championship contenders in the 2022-23 season based on their run to the Finals the year prior. They lost to the Miami Heat in an Eastern Conference Finals series that went to seven games. In his only full season in Washington, Porzingis shook off injury concerns and averaged 23.2 points and 8.4 rebounds.

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