Report: Joel Embiid agrees to five-year, $148 million max extension with Sixers

Getty Images

Joel Embiid has trusted the process all the way to the bank.

The Philadelphia 76ers have bet big that Embiid is going to be healthy.

The Sixers have agreed to a five-year, $148 million extension with the big man at the center of their rebuilding efforts, something first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN(and since confirmed by Jessica Camerato of NBC Sports Philadelphia).

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid has agreed to a five-year, $148-million designated rookie scale maximum contract extension, league sources told ESPN.

The designated exception — termed “The Super Max — allows Embiid to earn a higher percentage of the salary cap — and potentially millions of dollars more — if he meets criteria over the course of the deal, including, making All-NBA teams, winning NBA Defensive Player of the Year, or the NBA’s Most Valuable Player. If Embiid meets the super max criteria, he could earn an as much as $178 million on the contract, league sources said….

The deal will include some salary cap protection for the 76ers should Embiid sustain injury that causes him to miss significant playing time, league sources said.

Joel Embiid reacted like you or I would have to $148 million.

I’m curious what those protections are for the Sixers, because the agents want to spin this as a max extension but you can be sure Philly covered its bases. There was a quickly removed report that Embiid would only get half that money if he didn’t meet certain criteria in terms of games played, however, we don’t know what those benchmarks might be (or what numbers really are in the contract). Zach Lowe put it this way.

In three NBA seasons, Embiid has played a total of 786 minutes across 31 games. He has been plagued by foot issues, then had last season cut short with surgery for a meniscus tear in his left knee. He hasn’t played in a game since Jan. 27. He has just been cleared for 5-on-5 action but has yet to play in a Sixers preseason game. They are hoping he is ready by opening night.

That said, when Embiid has been on the court he has looked like a max player. He averaged 20.2 points and 7.8 rebounds a game (despite a minutes limit), he was a defensive force in the paint, and the Sixers were outscoring opponents on the court. With him and Ben Simmons (back from injury and looking good in the preseason) plus No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz, there is real optimism in Philly because of all this.

And the Sixers can keep adding to the roster — they have a lot of draft picks stockpiled and they will still have about $40 million in cap space next summer to chase free agents (in what will be a tight market that can buy them a lot of talent).