Wake-up call: Khem Birch confident he'll play for an NBA team

Wake-up call: Khem Birch confident he'll play for an NBA team
July 19, 2014, 6:00 am
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LAS VEGAS -- Khem Birch doesn't pay much attention to what's said about him, turning pro after his junior season at UNLV. Assistant coach Sam Cassell, who is running the Wizards' summer league team that plays Saturday vs. the San Antonio Spurs, paid the highest compliment to the undrafted free agent. 

Cassell said if it were up to him, Birch would be part of the Wizards' 15-man roster to begin the regular season. 

"Oh really? That's cool," Birch said when told of Cassell 's comments. "A lot of people doubted me, thinking I shouldn't have left early. I know I was ready. Even if I don't make the team it shows that I still  have a chance to make it in the league."

The Wizards signed Kevin Seraphin on Friday leaving just one roster spot open unless they make other moves. Seraphin's signing means six post players so that brings into question Birch's status here. But he's certain he'll be somewhere.

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"I only take a little amount of shots, I run the floor, play defense," said Birch, a slender 6-9 power forward. "I think every team needs a guy like that. I don't think I'm that ready to contribute next year but I'll play in the D-League, stuff like that, to get my strength up. I'm open to anything. What any team wants me to do. I understand I won't be as ready as I think I am."