Khem Birch Clears Waivers, Signs With Raptors

6:35pm: The signing is official, the Raptors announced on Twitter.

4:38pm: Birch has confirmed his plans to sign with Toronto, tweeting, “I’m excited for the next chapter of my career with @raptors.”

4:08pm: Former Magic center Khem Birch has officially cleared waivers and will join the Raptors for the remainder of the season, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Toronto was expected to be Birch’s next destination, as long as he cleared waivers today. Any team that claimed him would have inherited the $3MM expiring contract he had with Orlando. If Birch’s signing takes place Sunday, he will earn $416K for the rest of the season and the Raptors will have a $389K cap hit, tweets Blake Murphy of The Athletic. Birch gave back $413,964 in a buyout deal with the Magic, according to Bobby Marks of ESPN (Twitter link).

Even if Birch signs right away, he’s not expected to play in tonight’s game at Cleveland, tweets Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports. There’s a chance his Raptors debut could come Sunday in New York, Lewenberg adds. Toronto has been struggling through injuries and will only have nine players available tonight (Twitter link).

Birch, who was born in Montreal and went to school in Ontario, will become the sixth Canadian to play for the Raptors in team history, according to Lewenberg (Twitter link).

The 28-year-old served as the Magic’s primary backup center for most of the year, but his role was diminished as Orlando began to emphasize its younger players. He averaged 5.3 points and 5.1 rebounds in 48 games this season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

View Comments (2)