Joel Embiid’s availability has been a subject of great debate this summer, and fans have gotten a bit restless waiting to find out when the franchise center would be ready. 94.1 WIP’s Howard Eskin reported this afternoon that according to his intel, part of what is holding Embiid back is the work of his agent.
Here’s what Eskin had to say on the 94.1 WIP Midday Show:
He’s not ready for five-on-five play, according to the Sixers. But what I understand is, his agent wants a new contract before he — remember he’s eligible to get a new deal. Now, if you’re the Sixers you can’t give him a max deal until you see that he can play, how many games he can play during the season.
But my understanding, part of the reason that they’re saying — whoever it is that is saying that he’s not ready for five-on-five play, is because — and Joel Embiid, I don’t think worries about the money, but they listen to their agents. And the agent wants a new contract.
Multiple team sources spoke with Liberty Ballers about Embiid on the condition of anonymity, and the team categorically denied that Embiid’s availability has anything to do with ongoing contract discussions he and his agent, Leon Rose, are having with the franchise.
As of September 7, Sixers personnel have also confirmed to Liberty Ballers that Embiid has yet to be cleared for five-on-five, but they maintain there is no concern from the team regarding his current availability or his progress toward getting ready for the regular season. Embiid continues to go through his recommended workout plan and medical procedures while gearing up for training camp, and one source even pointed out that Embiid was in the Sixers’ practice facility working out when this new report was made.
The Sixers’ focus re: Embiid has been the same since he underwent the procedure and began rehab earlier this year: have him ready to go for the regular season, and have him as ready as he can be to play deep into the season at that. Team sources insist that continues to be the case, and that any concern to the contrary is unwarranted as of now.