Sixers, Joel Embiid agree to max contract extension


Embiid joined fellow 2014 draft class players Gary Harris, T.J. Warren and Bogdan Bogdonavic, in signing an extension prior to the October 16 deadline. Embiid, dealing with a plethroa of injuries, has played a grand total of 31 games through his first three seasons in the league.

The most tantalizingly talented player in the National Basketball Association has also just signed the most fascinating contract the league has seen in years, perhaps ever.

Recent reports suggest that the second-year player is dominating five-on-five scrimmages (of course) and is likely to play in at least one of the Sixers' preseason games, all encouraging signs for his availability come regular season.

Embiid is one of the most-talented young players in the league, but this is a pretty huge bet on a guy who's yet to prove he can stay healthy for even half of a season.

Embiid averaged 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2.5 blocks in 25 minutes per game in his 31 starts last season.

Some of you will gasp at the potential earnings, but there are few better ways for the Sixers to invest that money than to gamble on Embiid's talent.

There will be a fair amount of questions about the timing of the deal, and they're warranted. As a player with a bad injury history, Embiid's deal includes some salary cap protection for Philadelphia, per Adrian Wojnarowski. He'll make $6.1 million this season in the final year of his rookie deal.

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The extension solidifies Embiid as a cornerstone of the franchise's future.

The Cameroonian's reaction to the new deal was shared by the Memphis Grizzlies' Chandler Parsons who posted a screenshot of a FaceTime conversation with Embiid to Instagram. The Sixers had until October 16 to extend the contract or allow Embiid to play this season and then become a free agent.

Brett Brown, coach of the Sixers, said Embiid is a "difference-maker".

It's not like there was a long line of suitors for restricted free agent big men this past summer.

"He does things on a court that remind me of, you know, somebody that's able to hear music and just play the song", Brown said.

Embiid is the first big name member of the 2014 draft class to be re-signed, with the likes of Andrew Wiggins and Marcus Smart rumoured to be re-signed long-term in the coming days. Last season, he suffered a knee injury that ended his season prematurely.