Philadelphia 76ers announce five-year contract extension for Joel Embiid

Arnold Nichols
October 12, 2017

Off the hardwood, he's charming and gregarious, using social media savvy to rise to his status as one of the league's most popular players. Luckily, Wednesday's game isn't too far away, scheduled to be played at The New Coliseum in Uniondale, NY. The driver trailed Embiid and shouted, "Trust the process!", to which Embiid raised his fist in agreement.

The Philadelphia 76ers have signed the No. 3 overall pick from the 2014 NBA Draft to a five-year extension worth $148 million.

Specific injuries are laid out in the contract and include only past problem areas with Embiid's feet and back, sources said. How exactly that will be determined will likely be exceedingly complicated, though the initial guess would be it's a combination of straight guaranteed money combined with additional guarantees based on games played benchmarks.

Sixers' head coach Brett Brown said Monday to reporters in Boston that when Embiid has been able to practice with the team this preseason, he completely changes the gym.

If Embiid meets that narrow criteria and the Sixers made a decision to waive him after the 2018-19 season, he would receive $84.2 million of his full contract; $98.2 million after the 2019-20 season; $113.3 million after the 20201-21 season and $129.4 million after the 2021-22 season.

Given the nature of the protections, the fact that only the specific foot and back injuries can trigger the Sixers' escape hatches, and the likelihood that it would take something downright apocalyptic to make general manager Bryan Colangelo want to waive the franchise's hoped-for focal point, the new information suggests that it's pretty likely the 76ers will wind up paying the full five-year freight on Embiid's deal. Wiggins and the Timberwolves are working on a deal that should pay him the max.


The timing is peculiar.

There is a lot of detail in Embiid's contract.

The Sixers, though, are betting that he can. The dramatic impact of Embiid's brief but dominant debut season left him as the only rookie since Wilt Chamberlain to average at least 28.7 points per 36 minutes played. He has an easy jumper from three-point range - something every team seeks in its big men now - and is capable of going to work on the low block and scoring effectively.

The Sixers are hopeful Embiid will be in the lineup on opening night. Those guys don't come along very often - and especially not when paired with an incredibly likable personality that has turned Embiid into a sensation in Philadelphia.

If he can stay healthy and effective, it will be well worth it for both parties.

That skill-set he's shown, that glimpse of greatness over 31 games, is what makes the reward of the Joel Embiid contract extension greater than the enormous risk the 76ers are undertaking by re-signing him.

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