Raptors signing Khem Birch as potential Aron Baynes alternative

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The Toronto Raptors have signed former Orlando Magic center Khem Birch off waivers.

The Toronto Raptors did not make the move to trade Kyle Lowry to a contender, but did end up trading Norman Powell to the Portland Trail Blazers. Even though the trade deadline happened two weeks ago, the Raptors made a transaction to bolster their big man depth.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Raptors have signed former Orlando Magic center Khem Birch for the remainder of the season.

Raptors: Toronto signs center Khem Birch to bolster depth

The Raptors were reportedly in the market for a center this season, as they inquired with the Cleveland Cavaliers about Andre Drummond. Nothing came of the talks, as Drummond was eventually bought out by the team and eventually signed on with the Los Angeles Lakers. While the Raptors did not land a star-caliber center, they did bring in some much-needed depth in Birch.

Toronto signed Aron Baynes to a two-year, $14.4 million contract this past offseason, and he has not exactly performed up to his deal. Through 50 games, Baynes is averaging 5.8 points and 5.1 rebounds while shooting 43.1-percent from the field (career low). Baynes’ struggle may very well have enticed the Raptors to make the move for the former Magic big man.

Birch spent the past four years with the Magic after going undrafted back in 2014. The 28-year-old has played in 48 games this season, five of which he started. Through that span of games, Birch is averaging a career-high 5.3 points and 5.1 rebounds, while recording a 45.0 field goal percentage.

With the signing official, Birch is available to make his debut on Sunday night when the Raptors take on the New York Knicks.

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