In the upcoming NBA season, the Celtics will be bolstered by 7-foot-3 Latvian, Kristaps Porzingis as they chase a championship.
During the dead of last Thursday night, a three-team trade that saw Marcus Smart land in Memphis and The Unicorn in Boston occurred.
“[When I woke] up in the morning, I saw that it happened, the trade happened and I was just extremely excited and extremely happy,” ” Porzingis said at his first press conference with the franchise.
“[It was] an opportunity to play for a really good team already and be able to add to that. 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.”
Despite rumors of Boston splitting up Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, the pair look set to stay and create a Big Three with Porzingis – who is excited to play alongside the J’s.
“I want to come here to make life easier for those guys,” Porzingis said. “Hopefully with my skill set and my talent I can take some pressure off of those guys. And that’s it. I come here to try to make this team better. And I’m excited to play with such high-level guys that have been there from year to year and have that experience already. So, I think it can be a great combination.”
Porzingis hasn’t had the easiest of careers due to injury troubles and has been to three different teams since 2019 when he was traded to Dallas from New York.
But the Celtics represent a new start for the almost-28-year-old, who is coming off arguably the best season of his career where he averaged 23.2 points per game, 8.4 rebounds and 1.5 blocks with the Wizards.
“I think these are the best years for a basketball player,” said Porzingis “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.
“My body is maturing, and getting to that age helped, and I believe I have some great, high-level years ahead of me.”
Landing Porzingis was a big win for the C’s but their president of basketball operations Brad Stevens is “actively exploring trade opportunities”, according to The Athletic’s Jared Weiss.
So it seems the Celtics aren’t done yet!