Breaking down Joel Embiid's contract, one of the riskiest in National Basketball Association history

Doug Mendoza
October 11, 2017

Eventually, Philadelphia will have to do the same with Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz, so getting the Embiid extension out of the way now figures to prove vital for the future. Embiid, dealing with a plethroa of injuries, has played a grand total of 31 games through his first three seasons in the league.

Joel Embiid, widely regarded as the most skilled big man in the sport, has agreed to a five-year max extension worth US$148 million (AU$190 million) with the Philadelphia 76ers. He played well in 31 games in 2016-17, averaging 20.2 points and 7.8 rebounds, before succumbing to knee surgery on March 24.

In those 31 games, though, Embiid showed he can be a transformational talent and cornerstone for a franchise that hasn't made the playoffs since the 2011-12 season and has had the No. 1 overall pick in the past two National Basketball Association drafts. But Sam Hinkie decided that Embiid possessed the kind of talent whose potential eclipsed whatever increase in certainty the Sixers would have gained by passing on him for a better known commodity. Having said that, Embiid's impact on the floor, when available, has been profound.

However, this means that an unhealthy Embiid would make $74 million on a five-year deal.

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Addressing the injuries, Wojnarowski did report Monday that the new Embiid contract will include "some salary-cap protection for the 76ers should Embiid suffer injury that causes him to miss significant playing time".

Joel Embiid didn't have to be in the building to be the topic of conversation.

We all know Embiid's injury history. Embiid was last year's leading scorer and dubbed his own nickname "The Process" after the Sixers slogan in the years they were tanking. If left unsigned, Embiid would have become a restricted free agent next summer. Embiid has been the focus for the Sam Hinkie disciples shouting "Trust the Process" since he was drafted third overall in 2014. If the Sixers are only protected on, let's say 10 percent of the deal, they're up a creek without a paddle if he's never able to remain healthy.

Embiid, a native of Cameroon, appreciates that the 76ers were always supportive as he dealt with the injury troubles before finally making it on the court last season. Maybe the Sixers have no real shot at LeBron James, but internally, they want their foundation set and their books in order when the time comes to go after players like him.

Other reports by GizPress

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