The San Antonio Spurs faced a roster dilemma with only one preseason game remaining. San Antonio needed to release a player in order to reach the required 15 roster places since they had 16 players with guaranteed contracts. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Spurs dismissed veteran big man Khem Birch on Thursday to fulfill that condition.
In February, Birch was part of the Jakob Poeltl trade that sent the Spurs a first-round selection in 2024 as well as two second-round choices (2023, who would later become Sidy Cissoko, and 2025). Birch played 11 minutes in the one preseason game he played for the Silver and Black, recording 4 rebounds and 2 assists. He missed the most of his Spurs career because of a knee ailment.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 19, 2023
Birch was on the outside looking in with a group of large men that was becoming better, including Victor Wembanyama, Zach Collins, Charles Bassey, Sandro Mamukelashvili, and Dominick Barlow. The Spurs have given younger players more consideration than the veterans they acquired in draft-compensation deals. Following their acquisitions via trade, Birch, Cam Payne, Lamar Stevens, and Reggie Bullock were all released.
The Spurs’ core roster is finalized now that they are down to 15 players. However, they do have one open two-way contract that they might offer to a player at any time throughout the season. Charles Bediako and Erik Stevenson are a few of the candidates the club presently has on hand. San Antonio might potentially search beyond the city limits for a player to fill the vacancy.
Only Wembanyama, Cissoko, and Cedi Osman, the Spurs’ only three recently recruited players, will be part of their 15-man squad for the start of the regular season. On October 25, they will play their first game of the regular season against the Dallas Mavericks.