Joel Embiid is so inextricably tied to Philadelphia 76ers basketball that he took on the nickname representing the franchise’s rebuild. He has embraced the city of Philadelphia as much as any sports fan here could hope for, vacationing at the Jersey Shore, running and playing tennis or pickup hoops downtown, and forming an emotional bond with the fan base through his own brand of charismatic showmanship. Most importantly, Embiid has backed everything up on the court, fresh off an MVP runner-up season and playing extremely well through a meniscus injury in the playoffs. He has continually improved his game, whether it’s adding bags of tricks to attack one-on-one matchups, honing his outside shot, or boosting his conditioning.
I don’t want to imagine this generation of Sixers basketball without Joel Embiid. Luckily, per ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, we won’t have to for at least the next half decade:
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid is finalizing a four-year, $196 million supermax contract extension, sources told ESPN.— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) August 17, 2021
Liberty Ballers’ Paul Hudrick has confirmed the report:
A source confirms @ramonashelburne’s report. Joel Embiid will sign a four-year extension with the Sixers. It’s expected to be formally announced later today.— Paul Hudrick (@PaulHudrick) August 17, 2021
This extension will begin with the 2023-24 season and keep Joel on the payroll through the 2026-27 campaign. Shelburne also reported the extension will be fully guaranteed. Embiid was eligible for the supermax by virtue of earning second-team All-NBA honors last season (should have been first-team All-NBA). Here’s a projected breakdown of the contract:
Here is the breakdown on the Joel Embiid supermax extension:— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) August 17, 2021
2026/27- $54.22M (Player)
Important to note that this is a projection based on a $124.9M cap in 2023-24.
My favorite part of this situation might be that Embiid “represented himself in the negotiations” (from Shelburne’s story on ESPN). I like to imagine Joel saying, “I googled the most you can give me. Give me that.” Four percent of $200 million is a nice chunk of change — good for you, Joel.
Joel Embiid has become one of us. We’ve been through a lot together — on the court, sure, but also personally, from the tragic death of his brother to the joy of his becoming a father. He’s the perfect example of how if an athlete both cares about his craft and opens his arms to the city of Philadelphia, the city will open theirs right back in a loving embrace.
Now, is Embiid’s injury history something to be considered when giving him $50 million per year? Sure. But Philadelphia has one of the best basketball players in the world, who has made it clear he is committed to doing everything possible to bring a title to this city. As an organization, you make sure you keep a guy like that around as long as possible, and cross your fingers that it works out for the best. Good on the Sixers for doing the only reasonable thing and writing the check, and congratulations to Joel on a well-deserved pay raise. Trust the Process.