Khem Birch shined for the Washington Wizards this offseason in their Summer League play, but he's realized his best option for making a NBA team is not in Washington, but in Miami.
That's why the 6'9 center from UNLV is deciding the join the Miami Heat training camp roster in hopes of making the team who is still searching for power players to fill out the roster. Earlier today, the Heat came to an agreement with Andre Dawkins from Duke, who played for the Heat in the Summer League. Now, Khem Birch will make only one roster spot available for the Heat to add someone for training camp that starts later this month.
There has been speculation out there that Montreal’s Khem Birch is heading to Miami on camp deal. It’s true. Will happen today.— Ryan Wolstat (@WolstatSun) September 2, 2014
Birch averaged 11.5 PPG and 10.2 RPG last season at UNLV, but went un-drafted in June. He is determined to make a NBA roster, and given the current make-up of the Heat's depth chart, he has a chance. Miami has Chris Bosh, Udonis Haslem, Josh McRoberts, Chris Andersen and Justin Hamilton as a part of their power rotation. They've been linked to other bigs as well, but Riley always has a liking for young bigs with something to prove.
Remember, Udonis Haslem was un-drafted out of Florida, and he has made a home in Miami. And Joel Anthony was also un-drafted out of UNLV and spent plenty of time here in South Florida.
Birch seems a lot like Jarvis Varnado who spent time with the Heat and eventually made the roster. Don't be surprised if the Heat choose to keep him to see what the talented big man develops into.
Birch is from Montreal and will turn 22 later this month. He has a 7'1 wingspang and a standing reach of 8'11. His max vertical is 35". Birch went into 2011 as the #11 ranked high school player, but he transferred during his freshmen year at Pittsburgh to UNLV. There, he won consecutive Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year Awards.