Less Confident: Khem Birch
At this time one year ago, there were rumblings that Birch could be the starting center following a splendid stint in Tampa. Due to a combination of injuries limiting his availability and effectiveness, Birch had an absolute nightmare of a season last year.
Birch was retained for 2022-23 due to the fact he’s still got two years left on his contract. The Raptors were so alarmed by Birch’s play that they used their lone draft pick on someone who could eventually grow into a starting role in Christian Koloko. Birch will need to earn his trust back.
Khem Birch needs to get back on track for the Toronto Raptors.
While pessimists might see Birch as an aging big that doesn’t fit with what Toronto wants to do from a schematic point of view, optimists could see him as a battle-scarred veteran that could help the Raptors compete with many of the deep teams in the Eastern Conference.
In theory, Birch could be a fine addition to the rotation. In practice, Birch will likely be on the outside looking in if Nurse decided to go with just nine guys in the rotation this year. Birch will need a ton of fortuitous bounces this season to get back on track.