Late Monday afternoon, news broke that Joel Embiid signed a 5 year, $148 million contract extension with the Sixers. Sixers fans were immediately thrilled to see that the team had locked up arguably the most significant piece of The Process.
However, after actually seeing the amount of money the Sixers threw at Embiid, many people were extremely surprised that they would give that much money to a 7’2 center who is viewed as one of the more injury prone players in the NBA, which is a fair point to be curious about. No player has ever received a payday of this magnitude after playing just 31 games over his first three seasons in the league.
Luckily, the Sixers factored some “insurance policies” into the wording of the contract to protect them from losing all of the money if Embiid were to go down and miss even more significant time in the upcoming years.
Should Embiid miss 25 or more games or play less than 1,650 minutes in a season, the Sixers have their option to waive Embiid, reducing his guaranteed money they would owe him depending on what year they decide to do it. However, the injury suffered has to be from one of his preexisting injuries, meaning his back or feet. He missed his first two seasons in the league due to two separate surgeries to repair the navicular bone in his right foot. Back in his college days at Kansas, he also suffered a stress fracture in his back that prevented him from playing in both the Big 12 and NCAA tournaments in his only season there.
These restrictions will help with the Sixers end of the deal. As for Embiid himself, he has some incentives to play for also.
If he play at least 1,650 minutes in three out of four seasons, the Sixers will lose the right to waive Embiid for lower guaranteed money in the later years of the extension. Also, if Embiid is able to win 1st Team All-NBA honors or NBA MVP honors, he would be eligible for about a 30% increase in salary, bringing the possible maximum earnings of this extension up to a mind boggling $178 million.
It is obvious that both sides here want nothing more than to see this tandem be successful. This contract and its specifications will push Embiid to perform the absolute best he can. Hopefully this can bring out an even more dangerous player than fans have already witnessed.