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Earlier this season, Joel Embiid made headlines by calling himself “the best player in the world.” While virtually no one agreed with the Philadelphia 76ers big man, he’s no slouch on the hardwood. Embiid might not be the best player on the planet, let alone the best player currently active in the NBA, but he’s still pretty talented; that talent brings some hefty financial rewards.

Although the young center has struggled with injury issues during his time in the pros, that hasn’t done too much damage to his bottom line. For all his struggles, Joel Embiid has still built up a massive net worth playing basketball.

Joel Embiid’s road to basketball stardom

Most NBA stars were immersed in basketball from a young age, cutting their teeth in high school and AAU competition. Joel Embiid, however, did things a bit differently.

Growing up in Cameroon, Embiid used his height on the volleyball court rather than the hardwood. At age 15, however, one of his school’s basketball sent him home with a Hakeem Olajuwon video; the young big man found his calling.

Soon after, the teenager attended a Basketball Without Borders camp. His skills were still raw, but Luc Mbah a Moute saw something special in Joel. The next year, the NBA veteran helped Embiid make the jump to the United States.

After two seasons of high school ball, Embiid enrolled at the University of Kansas. While the big man missed the entire postseason, he still posted solid numbers—an average of 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks per outing—before entering into the 2014 NBA draft.

Overcoming injuries to become an NBA star

Coming out of Kansas, Joel Embiid seemed like the next dominant big man ready to take the NBA by storm. Unfortunately, injuries got in the way.

In June 2014, Embiid underwent foot surgery. Despite that reality, the Philadelphia 76ers selected him third-overall, refusing to let an injury overshadow his talent. Despite their optimism, though, the center missed the entire season.

Embiid’s issues, however, didn’t end there. He eventually went under the knife again to readdress his foot issue; that cost him the entire 2015 campaign. He finally made his NBA debut in 2016, but only played 31 games before having season-ending knee surgery.

Despite those injuries, the 76ers still liked what they saw and inked their star center to a rookie scale max extension; Embiid has since repaid their faith. While he’s still yet to play a full, 82-game season, the big man has grown into a star. He’s made the last three All-Star games and averages 24.2 points and 11.6 rebounds per game for his career.

Joel Embiid has already built up a massive net worth


Is Joel Embiid Cursed, Unlucky or Just Brittle?

It’s safe to say that Joel Embiid’s career didn’t begin in ideal circumstances. That reality, however, hasn’t stopped the big man from building up a sizable net worth.

According to Spotrac’s financial data, Embiid has earned just under $73 million in salary during his time in the NBA; by the time his current contract expires, that number will climb to almost $168 million. The 76ers star also inked an endorsement deal with Under Armour and has his first signature shoe in the works.

CelebrityNetWorth estimates the big man’s fortune at approximately $35 million; that’s nothing to sneeze at, considering he spent the first two years of his professional career confined to the sidelines. Joel Embiid’s net worth and career trajectory, it seems, show the benefits of trusting the process.

Stats courtesy of Sports-Reference and Basketball-Reference