Joel Embiid inked a five-year, $148 million contract extension, and Sixers teammate Ben Simmons says the big fella is worth every penny. But one thing should give any team pause: Through his first three National Basketball Association seasons, Embiid has played only 31 games - all past year. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that giving almost $150 million to someone with less than half a season under his belt is an enormous, big risk. "They've got the best fans".
The 7-foot-2 Embiid offers a total package of size, toughness, shot-blocking ability, strength, athleticism, quickness and competitiveness.
Embiid was named as a first-team All-Rookie last season with 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game.
"I'm so thrilled to be in this position", Embiid said in a release. He's a revolutionary, generational talent, both on the court and on Twitter and Instagram. The Sixers had until October 16 to extend the contract or allow Embiid to play this season and then become a free agent. If Embiid were to suffer a major injury, a catastrophic injury, couldn't go on, the Sixers would have to waive him, they would have to release him, for Embiid not to get that full $148 million.
Embiid, 23, has progressed into the NBA's most talented and popular young players and the extension solidifies him as a cornerstone player of the franchise's future.
The Philadelphia faithful flocked to the Wells Fargo Center to watch him in action last season and the team even sold out some of the games he was involved in. "He's just scratching the surface".
Can you imagine how unguardable and how incredible Embiid can be if he can put an entire healthy season- or two, or three- together?
The Sixers have seen what Joel Embiid can do when he's healthy enough to stay on the court, and he was as impactful as any player in the league last season. Who knows what manner of contract chicanery rivals would have planned for Embiid if he hit the market.
Teams and players confront risks and agree to compromise on almost every deal.
Next is Joel Embiid, who comes in at No. 1. "I love him as a player, but 31 games over three years?" He's slated to make $6,100,266 in year four. They would have controlled his rights in restricted free agency next summer, and provided he had the season they hope he will, they would have been happy to hand him or match the same deal next offseason.
It might seem silly to think that a guy who can't stay healthy in his early 20s is going to age well enough to warrant the kind of salary-cap space that the Sixers will be devoting to Embiid. It's also about $50 million more than we have in all other player salary on the books after this season combined.