Joel Embiid has continued to further cement his status as one of the best players in the league. Along the way, the Philadelphia 76ers star big man has faced questions concerning his health that had a significant impact on how his contract situation played out with the franchise. However, it appears that Embiid may have gotten the financial security he had hoped for after it seems that he will earn the remain $95 million on his deal.
Joel Embiid’s NBA career
Through his first several seasons, Joel Embiid has developed into one of the NBA’s best players.
When healthy, Embiid has been a dominant factor on both ends of the floor that has lifted him into the discussion as being the best big man in the game. That has translated to him earning three All-Star selections, two All-NBA Second Team nods, and two All-defensive Second Team nominations, which should see another nod added to each of these accolades after the 2019-20 campaign.
Embiid has become a premier scorer and strong defensive asset as a proven rim protector. The only question that has remained with him has been his ability to stay healthy. That has prevented him from reaching greater heights as he has the potential to put forth a Hall of Fame-caliber career if he can remain on the court.
That factor alone has profoundly impacted his contract status with the 76ers, but things have worked out significantly in his favor.
How Joel Embiid just made $95 million guaranteed from 76ers
Joel Embiid has become the centerpiece of the 76ers’ long-term future that earned him a lucrative deal with the franchise on a five-year, $148 million extension that he inked back in 2017.
There were incentives in the contract that were based on his ability to stay healthy and play significant minutes. According to Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, one of those workings in his deal involved the minute workload that now, with an expected resume of the 2019-20 season, may have locked him into the remaining $95 million over the final three years of his extension.
Embiid signed a five-year, $148 million deal extension in 2017 that included financial protections for the Sixers had Embiid suffered career-ending injuries involving his back or feet. Those protections are moot now; Embiid has shown his durability and his All-NBA production has actually outsized his contract.
Embiid needed 1,650 minutes this season to fully guarantee the contract, but prorated over the Sixers’ 65 games that lowered the requirement to below the 1,329 minutes he had played this season.
The rest of the regular season has been cut down to just eight games instead of the slated initially final 17 contests. That will tilt things in Embiid’s favor as he has already surpassed that mark in his contract. He would have likely hit that original mark at had he stayed healthy over the remainder of the season, but this puts the notion that his contract couldn’t become fully guaranteed.
Joel Embiid locked into long-term future with 76ers
The focus around the 76ers can shift from Joel Embiid’s long-term future with the franchise as he’s set to be locked into the final three years of his deal.
Embiid will continue to deal with concerns over his health as he hasn’t played more than 64 games in any of his first four seasons. Philadelphia has operated with a cautious route regarding their star big man, but they need him to stay healthy if they hope to contend in the Eastern Conference.
The 76ers have put together a team that has enough talent to compete deep into the playoffs, but it has been Embiid’s shortcomings on that stage alongside Ben Simmons that haven’t seen them take that next step forward. The franchise is in the 26-year-old’s hands and will only go as far as he can take them.
There could be some significant changes ahead, but it looks like Embiid will be there for the long haul, at least until the summer of 2023.