2 Spurs that earned untouchable status, 2 that should be cut loose
Cut Loose: Khem Birch
Although Khem Birch is under contract with San Antonio next season, the front office should already be considering releasing him this summer. The Spurs owe him roughly $6.9M in guaranteed money. But they own enough cap space to buy him out of his deal or waive him without worrying about suffering any long-term financial repercussions.
The sixth-year center was no more than a salary filler in the deadline-day transaction that sent Jakob Poeltl back to the Raptors, and no one should feel attached to him at this juncture in his career. The Spurs have talented frontcourt prospects like Charles Bassey and Dominick Barlow that should take precedence over an aging big man like Birch.
San Antonio could search for a trade partner, but it is tough to picture any contending organization spending draft capital or young assets to acquire an aging veteran. Traditional rim runners and paint protectors are a dime a dozen, and with waning athleticism and persistent knee issues, Birch is no longer an everyday rotation player in the NBA.