It might have already cost Joel Embiid.
The 76ers center made just the All-NBA second team, landing behind the Pelicans’ Anthony Davis. Davis surged after Cousins went down, earning overall credit from All-NBA voters, who were also increasingly likely to view him as a center rather than just a forward.
As a result, Davis made the All-NBA first team at center – costing Embiid about $29 million over the next five years.
Embiid’s contract extension, which kicks in next season, calls for his starting salary to be 25% of the salary cap (the typical max for a player with his experience level). If he made the All-NBA first team, his starting salary would have been 30% of the salary cap .
Though the exact cap won’t be determined until July, here’s what Embiid is projected to earn on his standard max and what he could’ve earned on the super max (with 8% raises in both cases):
Obviously Embiid will still earn a lot of money, and he and Philadelphia have a bright future.
But it’s hard not to think, if Cousins didn’t get hurt, Embiid would be even richer.
At least the 76ers have more cap space to pursue their big goals.