Sixers sign Joel Embiid to five-year, $148 million max extension

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What if you were told a man who played just 31 National Basketball Association games in three years, signed a deal that would pay him nearly $30 million per year?

Per Wojnarowksi, the deal allows Embiid to earn the maximum permitted under the rookie scale, called the designated exception or "Super Max".

Embiid, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, missed the first two seasons of his NBA career because of a pair of surgeries to fix the navicular bone in his right foot. The team's gone through a tough and trying rebuild, drafting players like Embiid, Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz, Dario Saric and Jahlil Okafor to forge a foundational core that could keep the Sixers relevant and contending for many years. Despite averaging just 25.4 minutes per night, Embiid scored 20.2 points and grabbed 7.8 rebounds and shot almost 37 percent from 3-point range.

The Sixers will get some salary-cap protection should the center miss significant playing time because of injuries. Embiid possesses the skill set of a generational talent. "He's just scratching the surface".

Given Embiid's more than troubling injury history, it makes sense that the Sixers put an escape hatch in this contract, but it remains to be seen just how readily available it is. In those 31 games, he showed good talent. But his season was cut short in March when he tore the meniscus in his left knee.

Embiid, a native of Cameroon, appreciates that the 76ers were always supportive as he dealt with the injury troubles before finally making it on the court last season.

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The 76ers have decided that however much of this they can get from Embiid per season is worth it.

Up until his past season ended prematurely, the Sixers were 8.6 points per 100 possessions worse off defensively when Embiid was off the floor.

"You don't give up that tag freely - but he has a chance to be great, he has a chance to be great", Brown said. There's still lots of work to be done.

Jahlil Okafor "He deserves it". I'm really happy for him. "It wasn't a surprise to me". "You've seen how great of a player he was, and he's an even better person, so he deserves that". The Sixers had said that he was training at the team's practice facility in Camden.

Special is what the 76ers are counting for as they aim to end a five-season playoff drought.

The news will also go down well with 76ers fans who have developed a real love for Embiid both on and off the court. Yes, these contracts have far-reaching ramifications for team building and roster construction, but it's a odd part of this job that requires us to give our unqualified opinion about somebody else's money.