Khem Birch

Magic To Guarantee Khem Birch’s Contract

The Magic have decided to guarantee center Khem Birch‘s $1.38MM contract for next season, Michael Scotto of The Athletic tweets.

Birch, an undrafted 25-year-old Canadian native, was a pleasant surprise in an otherwise dreary season for Orlando. The 6’9” Birch saw action in 42 games and averaged 4.2 PPG and 4.3 RPG in 13.8 MPG.

Birch, who played for UNLV for two seasons, began his pro career in the G League and then moved on to Turkey and Greece. Orlando signed him last summer.

He’ll be the team’s No. 3 center behind Nikola Vucevic and Bismack Biyombo unless one of those high-salaried big men is dealt.

Canada Basketball Unveils 18 Training Camp Invites

Canada Basketball has announced its preliminary 18-man roster of players who have been invited to participate in training camp and exhibition play ahead of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers next month, reports Josh Lewenberg of The Sports Network.

Among the 18 named individuals, eight played in the NBA last season – Khem Birch (Magic), Chris Boucher (Warriors), Dillon Brooks (Grizzlies), Cory Joseph (Pacers), Jamal Murray (Nuggets), Kelly Olynyk (Heat), Dwight Powell (Mavericks), and Tristan Thompson (Cavaliers).

The preliminary roster also includes former No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett, as well as three other G League players – Aaron BestOlivier Hanlan, and Kaza Kajami-Keane.

The remaining six players are former first-round pick of the Magic, Andrew Nicholsonformer college standouts’ Iowa State’s Melvin Ejim, Baylor’s Brady Heslip, and Gonzaga’s Kevin Pangos, as well as brothers Phil Scrubb and Tommy Scrubb.

As also highlighted by Lewenberg, notable absences include Trey Lyles (Nuggets), Nik Stauskas (Nets), and most glaringly, Andrew Wiggins (Timberwolves). Per Lewenberg, multiple sources indicated that one factor in Wiggins’ decision to decline Canada Basketball’s invitation is his strained relationship with national team head coach Jay Triano, who left Wiggins on the bench during the final moments of a qualifying game for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 3/23/18

Here are Friday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

5:52pm:

  • The Kings have assigned former first-round pick Bruno Caboclo to their G League affiliate, the Reno Bighorns, tweets James Ham of NBC Sports California. Caboclo, 22, has averaged 14.4 PPG and 6.5 RPG in 34 G League games this season; however, he has yet to suit up for the Bighorns, having been traded from Toronto earlier this season.

3:03pm:

  • Two young Lakers big men, Thomas Bryant and Ivica Zubac, have been assigned to the G League, according to a press release from the team. Bryant and Zubac are expected to play for the South Bay Lakers on Friday night against the Memphis Hustle.
  • The Magic have sent Rodney Purvis and Khem Birch to their G League affiliate, the team announced today (via Twitter). The duo figures to suit up on Friday night for the Lakeland Magic.
  • Rookie forward Damyean Dotson has been assigned to the G League, according to an announcement from the Knicks (via Twitter). Dotson will play for the Westchester Knicks – New York’s affiliate – in the club’s regular season finale on Friday night.
  • The Thunder have recalled Dakari Johnson from the G League, the team announced today in a press release. Johnson helped the Oklahoma City Blue pick up a victory on Thursday night by posting 23 points, 13 rebounds (11 offensive), and six assists vs. Austin.

Southeast Notes: Waiters, Birch, Bembry

After months of lingering ankle issues, Heat guard Dion Waiters underwent successful surgery to repair instability in the area, including a pre-existing fracture, Shandel Richardson of the Sun Sentinel writes.

The recovery process for the shooting guard is expected to take six to nine months, a timeline that could encroach upon Heat training camp next season. The ankle issues have bothered Waiters since the tail end of the 2016/17 campaign in which he earned his four-year, $52MM deal.

In 30 compromised games for the Heat this season, Waiters averaged 14.3 points, 2.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game.

There’s more from the Southeast Division tonight:

  • The Magic have experimented with undrafted rookie Khem Birch in their rotation and the results have been positive, John Denton of Orlando’s official team site writes. “He’s remarkably quick off the floor and he does surprise guys [with his shot-blocking abilities],” said coach Frank Vogel, “He continues to prove himself and we’ll continue to use him.
  • An adductor strain revealed in an MRI will sideline second-year Hawks forward DeAndre’ Bembry for one-to-three more weeks, the team announced in a press release. Bembry hasn’t seen action since December 22.
  • Despite his name coming up in trade rumors, Kent Bazemore is content playing through adversity with the Hawks, Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal Constitution writes. “I came here four years ago. We had some success right off the bat. I love what this organization has done, what this city has done for me and my family,” he said.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 1/15/18

Here are Monday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

3:50pm:

  • First-year forward Guerschon Yabusele has been assigned to the G League by the Celtics, the team announced today (via Twitter). The Maine Red Claws will host Austin in the only game on Monday’s G League slate, so Yabusele figures to suit up for that contest.
  • The Jazz assigned rookie center Tony Bradley to the G League this morning so he could practice with the Salt Lake City Stars, and have since recalled him to the NBA, per the team (Twitter link).

2:18pm:

  • As he continues to rehab his injured knee, D’Angelo Russell has been sent to the G League, the Nets announced today in a press release. Russell will practice with the Long Island Nets and will be recalled to the NBA later today, according to the club.
  • Another former top pick will continue his rehab in the G League today as well, with the Bucks announcing (via Twitter) that they’ve assigned Jabari Parker to the Wisconsin Herd. Parker will practice with the Herd again as he works his way back from his ACL tear.
  • The Magic have recalled rookie big man Khem Birch from the G League, the team announced today (Twitter link). Birch is coming off a 15-point, five-block performance on Saturday for the Lakeland Magic, Orlando’s affiliate.
  • Rookie forward Tyler Lydon has been recalled from the G League by the Nuggets, according to the team (Twitter link). Since Denver doesn’t have a G League affiliate of its own, Lydon had been playing for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. He has averaged 13.4 PPG and 9.1 RPG in 14 G League games this season.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 1/10/18

Here are Wednesday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Magic assigned center Khem Birch to their Lakeland affiliate, the team announced in a tweet. The rookie has played seven games for Orlando, averaging three minutes per night.
  • The Kings assigned Georgios Papagiannis and Malachi Richardson to their affiliate in Reno, tweets Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 1/6/2018

Here are Saturday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Kings have recalled forward Justin Jackson and center Georgios Papagiannis from their affiliate in Reno, tweets Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee.
  • The Suns have recalled second-round pick Davon Reed from their Northern Arizona affiliate, according to Scott Bordow of The Arizona Republic (Twitter link). Reed, who is recovering from meniscus surgery in August, may play in Sunday’s game.
  • The Magic have recalled Wesley Iwundu and Khem Birch from the G League, per RealGM’s transactions log. Birch posted a double-double (10 points, 12 rebounds) for the Lakeland Magic on Friday night, but Iwundu struggled mightily, putting up just two points on 1-of-9 shooting.

Magic Will Retain Khem Birch

The Magic will retain rookie big man Khem Birch for the remainder of the 2017/18 NBA season, reports Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. Birch’s non-guaranteed minimum salary contract of $815.6K will become fully guaranteed tomorrow evening, whereas the Magic would have only had to pay Birch the first $407.8K (or half) of his contract had they chosen to waive him today or tomorrow morning.

Birch, a 25-year-old rookie out of UNLV, has spent most of his rookie season with the Magic’s G League affiliate in Lakeland, FL. In the six games he has played for the Magic, he has averaged only 1.3 points and less than one rebound per game. However, with Nikola Vucevic now injured, the Magic will keep Birch around as a young prospect vying for playing time behind Bismack Biyombo and Marreese Speights.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 1/5/2018

Here are Friday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

7:08pm:

12:52pm:

  • Bulls power forward Cristiano Felicio signed a four-year, $32MM deal in July, but he has been seeing more action in the G League than the NBA as of late. The club announced today (via Twitter) that Felicio has been assigned to the Windy City Bulls for the fifth time in the last month. The 25-year-old figures to suit up for Chicago’s affiliate in tonight’s game against Fort Wayne before being recalled to the NBA.
  • The Magic have re-assigned Khem Birch and Wesley Iwundu to the G League, the team announced today (Twitter link). The duo will get a chance to play for the Lakeland Magic tonight as they host Santa Cruz.
  • Justin Jackson and Georgios Papagiannis have been sent to the Reno Bighorns by the Kings, tweets James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area. Sacramento’s affiliate hosts Northern Arizona tonight.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 12/24/17

Here are the G-League transactions from around the NBA today:

  • The Hawks have recalled guard Tyler Dorsey and big man Mike Muscala from the organization’s G League affiliate, the Erie BayHawks, the team announced in a press release. Dorsey has appeared in 10 games for the Hawks this season while Muscala has played in nine contests.
  • The Wolves announced that the 18th overall pick from this year’s NBA Draft, Justin Patton, has been recalled from the team’s G League affiliate, the Iowa Wolves (via Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune). Patton had been sidelined with a broken left foot to start a season before starting a G League assignment earlier this month. Patton, 20, appeared in six games with Iowa.
  • The Magic have recalled center Khem Birch from their G League affiliate, the Lakeland Magic, the team announced (via Twitter). Birch, 25, has appeared briefly in four games for Orlando this season.