Joel Hans Embiid got paid! The Philadelphia 76ers and Joel Embiid agreed to a 5-year, $148 million dollar contract extension. The extension comes with some salary cap protection for the team if Embiid isn’t able to play for an extended period of time. Embiid’s salary next season, $25.3 million dollars, will be the third highest among centers. Only Hassan Whiteside and Andre Drummond will get paid more.
So what does this mean for the 76ers? It means that the team is willing to gamble on Embiid’s health. Despite only playing 31 games through 3 seasons, Embiid played like he was a top five center in the league whenever he was on the floor. He averaged 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2.5 blocks through those 31 games. He also posted a defensive rating of 99.1 as compared to Rudy Gobert’s 98.7. The Sixers were a 49.7 win team with him on the floor and 19.7 win team with him off the floor.
The numbers and impact he had on the floor are impressive, but the problem is that he wasn’t on the floor long enough to determine if he can keep and improve this sort of production. With the contract extension, the 76ers are hoping that Embiid is able to remain healthy and become the transcendent player that the franchise hasn’t had since Allen Iverson.
If Joel Embiid cannot stay healthy, even with the salary cap protection in the contract, it would be a huge blow to the Sixers. Paying such a large amount of money to Embiid just to have him sidelined again for a prolonged period of time would not only set the team back, but it would also damage their culture, seeing as Joel Embiid is the face of the franchise.
Now we all play the waiting game. If Embiid can stay healthy (a phrase that is said way too much these days), there is no amount of money that would be too much. The Sixers would have an anchor to build around for years. We must remain patient and see if Joel Embiid can live up to the mighty contract and prove to the Sixers and their fans that they made the right choice by handing him the keys to the kingdom.
Here are some of Twitter’s best reactions to the news:
— Kevin Kline (@Wankleezy) October 9, 2017
.@JoelEmbiid just signed a $148M extension.
That's $188,295 for every minute he's played in the league so far. pic.twitter.com/xlgDxzSfGi
— The Ringer (@ringer) October 9, 2017
Joel Embiid’s first move after signing a max extension? FaceTime with Chandler Parsons, of course 😂😂 pic.twitter.com/fgXYrAY6G0
— Dime (@DimeUPROXX) October 9, 2017
— Sixers Nation (@PHLSixersNation) October 9, 2017
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports