Sixers sign Joel Embiid to four-year $196 million supermax extension, what it means for 76ers future

The Sports Extra Podcast

Philadelphia 76ers have signed Joel Embiid to a four-year, $196 million supermax contract extension, according to ESPN‘s Ramona Shelburne. This will keep Embiid in Philly through the 2026-27 season.

The team did announced the contract extension signing for the 27-year-old center, but did not share details of the deal.

According to the ESPN report, the deal is worth $261 million over the next six seasons. The contract is fully guaranteed, and does not protect the Sixers in case of major injury like his previous deal.

He was set to make $65 million in the final two years of his current deal, which was a five-year, $147.7 million deal from 2017.

Embiid became eligible for this type of extension after making the All-NBA second team and finishing second in NBA MVP voting.

He averaged 28.5 points, 10.6 rebounds in 2020-21 season over 51 games.

The extension begins in the 2023-24 season, according to ESPN.

The center was drafted No. 3 overall by the Sixers in 2014, and averages 24.8 points per game with 11.3 rebounds. He’s also part of the Sixers turnaround that has propelled Philadelphia into the playoffs each of the past four seasons.

Are injuries concerning the front office?

The lack of protection from injuries for the 76ers could worry some fans, however, Embiid has largely avoided major injuries since the beginning of his career.

He suffered a tear in his right meniscus during this year’s playoffs, but only missed a single game. The 7-foot, 280-pound center did miss 11 games this spring due to a bone bruise in his left knee, but that was the longest stretch he’s missed since the 2017-18 season.

With that in mind, he’s missed 41 games in the past two seasons, and has never played more that 64 games in a single season. (Reminder: The NBA plans to return to a full 82-game regular season in 2021-22.)

  • Joel Embiid

Many experts think if Embiid played more than 51 of 72 games in 2020-21, he would have been named NBA MVP instead of Nikola Jokic. But after finishing as the runner-up in MVP voting, he made a promise.

“That’s OK, because I will use it to motivate me so there is no chance that anyone can make that mistake again,” Embiid said.

And he’s already done just that, negotiating his own contract to the largest deal possible. Embiid has built himself into the face of the franchise and the saving grace of a trying rebuild.

What this means for Philly

His 2020-21 season showcased a new side of his game: the 3-pointer; the star center made 37.7 percent from beyond the arc and propelled the Sixers to the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

But Embiid’s stardom has always come with a sidekick: Ben Simmons. As trade talks continue to circulate for Simmons (including one report that PG won’t return Philly’s phone calls), what does a supermax extension guarantee if Embiid is the only star left on the team?

  • Ben Simmons

Simmons’ agent has been gauging interest for the runner-up Defensive Player of the Year, while the Sixers ask for a blockbuster trade to make a move happen.

Despite consensus that the Sixers would like to make this deal happen sooner rather than later, it seems unlikely anything will happen before teams return to Training Camp at the end of September.

If it isn’t the 25-year-old Simmons alongside Embiid in Philly, the front office will need to find a complimentary superstar quickly as to not waste their superstar supermax contract center’s prime.

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