1. Khem Birch
Everything that could have gone wrong for Birch did go wrong. Not only was he constantly set back by nagging injuries, but it was nearly impossible for him to get into a groove when he did play. Birch went from being a double-double threat to going multiple games at a time without scoring.
Assuming Toronto rolls out their expected starting five, the trio of Young, Boucher, and Precious Achiuwa will all earn minutes off the bench. Unless Toronto wants to go 10-deep and throw three non-shooters on the floor at the same time, Birch will have to earn every minute of playing time.
Toronto Raptors: Khem Birch is starting to lose playing time.
Birch can offer the Raptors an intriguing new angle thanks to his rebounding and interior defense. Still, it will be hard to sell anyone on him unless Toronto’s interior play has regressed to the point of being unrecognizable. Achiuwa has too much potential and Young has too much experience.
Birch may have impressed in Tampa, but he is just on the wrong team at the wrong time. With Toronto going all-in on youth and versatility, playing an oft-injured veteran without amazing athletic ability is not the right decision for a team at this developmental stage.