Toronto Raptors free agency: 4 Khem Birch replacements to sign

TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 03: Khem Birch #24 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 03: Khem Birch #24 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /
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Kevon Looney, Toronto Raptors free agency
DALLAS, TX – MARCH 3: Kevon Looney #5 of the Golden State Warriors, a Toronto Raptors free agency target (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors decided to give Khem Birch a three-year contract this offseason, but they haven’t received the most bang for their buck. Birch might be getting some brief moments as a starter, but he very rarely puts up the requisite production to justify that contract.

While Birch himself has admitted he is playing through a nagging knee injury, it’s hard to look at the major dip in offensive production from last season to this one and completely excuse him. Toronto may need to seriously consider trading him away for some spare parts in the offseason.

With Chris Boucher coming off the books, Toronto will have some cap space that could be used to get a more robust scoring option inside. As we’ve seen this season, the Raptors could still use one more shot-blocker and rebounder alongside their parade of switchable forwards.

Any one of these four free agents should be considered by Masai Ujiri and the Raptors front office. If they can get a player of value for Birch in addition to one of these players, the bench will get a huge shot in the arm.

Toronto Raptors free agency: 4 bigs to replace Khem Birch.

4. Kevon Looney, Golden State Warriors

Looney is in his seventh season in the NBA with Golden State, and some evaluators still don’t have a broad consensus on how good he could be on offense. If 2020 No. 2 overall pick James Wiseman returns to full strength, Looney might be pushed out of the Bay Area and into the free agent market.

Looney is in the middle of the best season of his career from a statistical point of view, as averaging 6.4 points and 7.6 rebounds per game are nothing to sneeze at given all of the competition for shots. Looney coming off the bench could help Toronto on both ends when compared to the lackluster Birch.

Toronto Raptors free agency: Kevon Looney could take off in Toronto

Looney is not a 3-point shooter, and fans who want a shot-blocker might not be impressed by the fact he has never averaged one block per game in a season. Still, given his athletic ability and strength in the paint, he should be a robust defender and finisher.

Looney has been a fantastic role player on some champion Warriors teams, but signing with the Raptors could allow him to get a slightly expanded role as the top frontcourt reserve. Still just 26 years old, Looney has a ton of good basketball left in him for the Raptors to take advantage of.