When he’s able to play, Joel Embiid is a transformative talent.
Now he’ll be paid like it.
The Philadelphia 76ers have signed the No. 3 overall pick from the 2014 NBA Draft to a five-year extension worth $148 million.
Philadelphia center Joel Embiid has agreed to a five-year, $148 million designated rookie scale max extension, league sources told ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 9, 2017
That price tag could go up to $178 million if the 23-year-old is named to the All-NBA first, second, or third team, or is declared the 2017 MVP. That’s because he signed a “super-max” extension, meaning he’d make 30 percent of the 2018-19 salary cap should he accomplish any of these feats.
Because he’s Joel Embiid, the big man from Cameroon commemorated the event with a tweet.
— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) October 10, 2017
His buddy Chandler Parson celebrated too.
— Alysha Tsuji (@AlyshaTsuji) October 9, 2017
In the three seasons since his draft selection, Embiid has only played in 31 games due to injuries to his right foot and left knee.
That makes the pact a risky venture, considering he’s managed 51 fewer games than noted injury-related bust Greg Oden through Oden’s first three NBA seasons.
However, the 76ers apparently took drastic steps toward protecting themselves from a serious Embiid injury, from a financial standpoint.
Embiid’s extension has been described to me as “perhaps the most complex” in NBA history. Expect a lot of details to trickle out.
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) October 9, 2017
The team would have to waive Embiid for him not to receive the full $148 million deal, which will kick in a season from now.
Thanks to that protection, this deal is well worth it.
Embiid was hands down one of the league’s best players a season ago, a skyscraper of a man who can do virtually everything on both ends of the court.
With him on the floor, the lowly 76ers outscored opponents by 3.3 points per 100 possessions. With him off the floor, they were outscored by 8.2 points per 100—an incredible 11.5-point swing.
“He does things on a court that remind me of, you know, somebody that’s able to hear music and just play the song,” Philly head coach Brett Brown said of his center. “You know, he will study [Tim] Duncan, or study [Kevin Durant], or another player, and all of a sudden it’s a part of his game. He’s very unique, very unique.”