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Raptors re-signing Khem Birch to three-year, $20M contract

Raptors center Khem Birch

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 04: Khem Birch #24 of the Toronto Raptors handles the ball during the game against the LA Clippers at Staples Center on May 04, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

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Masai Ujiri staying with the Raptors was probably great news for Khem Birch.

Because it’s tough to imagine another front office offering Birch this much money.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Birch had been one of the NBA’s most-underrated players, though this contract probably removes him from the discussion.

Last offseason, Toronto signed Aron Baynes and Alex Len to replace Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka at center. After Baynes and Len proved ineffective, the Raptors quietly signed Birch, who took a post-trade-deadline buyout from the Magic. Though Birch quickly helped, it was too late.

A Montreal native, Birch will get a fresh start in Toronto next season. Pencil him in as the Raptors’ starting center, though he’ll share minutes with Chris Boucher. Birch, 28, is a good defender and efficient interior scorer who’s working to expand his shooting range.

Toronto also waived Aron Baynes before his $7.35 million salary guaranteed.

It wouldn’t be surprising if Birch’s contract isn’t fully guaranteed, either. Still, that’s a nice salary for someone who worked his way up after going undrafted and playing in the NBA’s minor league and Europe for years.