Joel Embiid has recently agreed to sign a five-year, $148 million extension with the Philadelphia 76ers. The decision to give Embiid a max contract despite suffering multiple injuries in the past three years earned mixed reactions among NBA executives with most of them calling the deal “very risky.”
Since his arrival last season, Joel Embiid changed the atmosphere in the City of Brotherly Love, making some people believe that they should really trust the process. He emerged as a strong candidate for the Rookie of the Year award after averaging 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks on 46.6 percent shooting from the field and 36.7 percent from beyond the arc. Unfortunately, Embiid only played 31 games in his rookie season after suffering an injury.
If his performance will be the basis, there is no doubt that Joel Embiid is the type of player who deserves a max contract. However, his inability to remain healthy is the major reason why some NBA executives find his new deal a dangerous move for the Sixers.
One NBA executive told Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report that it’s “too early” for the Sixers to make the deal and added that most teams usually do such things to get a hometown discount. Another executive said he doesn’t see the benefit of giving him a maximum extension while the other one believes the deal is too big for a player who only played 31 games over three years.
According to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders, there is always a risk whether the Sixers gave Joel Embiid a max contract or not. If they waited for the summer of 2018, the Sixers may end up losing Embiid.
“Sources close to the situation this summer said Embiid’s camp was ready to test the free agent market if the Sixers did not agree to a max-level deal. The team never wavered on the idea of keeping Embiid, even at a major contract number, but they were not reckless either,” Kyler reported.
The Sixers definitely know the worst-case scenario before giving Embiid a new contract. Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo believes Embiid is one of the players who could lead them back to title contention. He even described him as a “transformative young talent that you rarely come across in our game.”
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN revealed that only a portion of Embiid’s contract will be guaranteed. The deal will reportedly give the Sixers some salary-cap protection if Embiid suffers an injury that causes him to miss significant playing time.
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