Now in his fourth seasons in the league with the Orlando Magic, Khem Birch has taken on a bigger role this season. He is averaging upwards of 21 minutes per game and has carved out a role next to Nikola Vucevic in the Magic’s frontcourt given all of their injuries.
Through 31 games, Birch is averaging 6.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 0.8 blocks and is shooting 50.7% from the floor, making him a very valuable backup big man. Acquiring him could cost the Lakers a player like Alex Caruso/Talen Horton-Tucker and a second-round pick, but he could really help the Lakers long after Davis returns.
He can play either power-forward or center and is a really physical rebounder. He ranks 16th in the league this season in offensive rebounds per game and has started in just one game this year! His ability to create second-chance opportunities makes him a player who could play alongside AD in the Lakers frontcourt late in the season.
Birch is owed $3M this season and is in the final year of his contract, not only making him an affordable trade option for the Lakers, but someone they are not tied down to long-term. If they wanted to, they could sign him at the end of the year, but they would have all the leverage in terms of his future with this organization.
Khem Birch should be the top choice for the Lakers in terms of finding a frontcourt talent who can help the Lakers win games in AD’s absence. He can rebound, score and be a very solid defensive option for Los Angeles to utilize in their pursuit of back-to-back titles.