Canadian forward Khem Birch joining Toronto Raptors after being waived by Orlando
Orlando Magic's Khem Birch (24) drives against Milwaukee Bucks' Pat Connaughton (24) during Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Mike Ehrmann/Pool Photo via AP)
The Canadian Press
Published Saturday, April 10, 2021 5:41PM EDT
Canadian centre Khem Birch is joining the Toronto Raptors.
The 28-year-old Birch joins fellow Montrealer Chris Boucher on the Raptors' roster after the Orlando Magic waived the undrafted Canadian earlier this week.
Birch tweeted the news on Saturday, in a thank you message to Orlando.
“I'm lost for words on what the city of Orlando has meant to me & my family! Beyond grateful. I'm excited for the next chapter of my career with â†•raptors,” Birch wrote.
The six-foot-nine Birch is averaging 5.9 points and 5.1 rebounds in 19.8 minutes per game this season with Orlando, but had been hoping for more playing time.
He's sure to get that with the Raptors, who've been weak in the frontcourt since Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka left last off-season.
After his college career at Pittsburgh and UNLV, Birch played in the G League, Turkey and Greece before signing with the Magic in 2017.
Birch was part of a Magic team that lost in five games to the Raptors in the opening round of Toronto's run to the NBA title in 2019.
Birch has experience playing for Raptors coach Nick Nurse. He was one of only two NBA players - Cory Joseph was the other - to suit up for the Nurse-coached Canadian squad at the FIBA Basketball World Cup in China in 2019
Boucher and Australian Aron Baynes are the other centres on Toronto's roster.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 10, 2021.