Khem Birch approaching free agency on a high note

2021-05-17T15:25:33+00:00 2021-05-17T15:25:33+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

17/May/21 15:25

A productive stretch at the end of the season with the Toronto Raptors lifts Khem Birch

By Johnny Askounis/

Following nearly four years at the Orlando Magic, Khem Birch signed with the Toronto Raptors in early April to complete the 2020-21 NBA Regular Season. He is happy with his decision.

Birch, 28, averaged 11.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.2 blocks per match attached to the Raptors. A massive improvement across the board compared to his run with the Magic including a boost up to 29.8 minutes per appearance. He had 4.7 points and 4.4 rebounds in 188 games at Orlando.

“I got lucky,” he said commenting on the conclusion of the season, per Josh Lewenberg of TSN, “If I would’ve stayed in Orlando people probably would’ve thought I’m just a regular bench big who can’t score. I’m fortunate these guys believed in me.”

The Montreal-born center, former Turkish Airlines EuroLeague player with Olympiacos back in 2016-17, will become an unrestricted free agent this summer. He looked a good fit at the Raptors but also added extra value on himself entering free agency.

“When I first got here I was kinda nervous. The whole country’s watching me… so it was a lot of pressure,” he added, “But I worked hard the whole year and going through what I did in Orlando helped me achieve what I wanted to here.”

Birch moved from Turkey and Usak Sportif to Olympiacos for his third professional season. One year later, he joined the Magic.

Photo Credit: Getty Images