Although a contract like this was hard to envision in the early years of Embiid’s career, the 27-year-old’s play of late has propelled him to the top of the game.
Along the way, Embiid elevated the Philadelphia franchise to one of the contenders for the Eastern Conference crown in each of the last three seasons.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 17, 2021
Philadelphia Excited With This Deal
Despite the uncertainty with the Sixers this summer, signing Embiid to this supermax extension seems like a no-brainer.
Philadelphia is currently embroiled in a difficult situation with the team’s other All-Star, Ben Simmons.
Inking Embiid to an extension that will keep him with the Sixers through 2027 remained the logical play.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) August 17, 2021
“Joel is the definition of elite – a role model in our community and a true MVP-caliber superstar on the court,” said Philadelphia 76ers Managing Partner Josh Harris.
Philadelphia landed Embiid with the third overall selection in the 2014 NBA Draft.
The Sixers entered the NBA lottery for that draft with the second-highest odds at the No. 1 overall pick, but saw the Cleveland Cavaliers jump them in the process.
Embiid has been far better than both in his NBA career.
He’s arguably the second-best player from that draft class, trailing only the Denver Nuggets second-round pick that year, Nikola Jokic.
Ironically, Embiid finished second in this year’s MVP voting to Jokic.
He scored a career-high 28.5 points-per-game while grabbing 10.6 rebounds and shooting 51.3 percent from the floor.
Embiid led the Sixers to the Eastern Conference’s top record last season (49-23).
The four-time All-Star has led Philadelphia to playoff appearances in each of the last four seasons.
Contract Grade: A
Injury concerns caused Embiid’s slip to the No. 3 overall pick in 2014.
Those concerns also kept Embiid off the floor in Philadelphia for two full seasons before finally getting his career started in 2016.
But since then, Embiid has been one of the top players in the league.
Over the last four seasons of his career, Embiid averaged 25.5 points, 11.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.6 blocks per game.
He has improved as a three-point shooter each season as well, netting a career-high 37.7 percent of his threes last season.
And while those past accomplishments prove he was the right pick at No. 3 overall, they don’t remove the injury concerns.
It’s likely those concerns that pushed Embiid to sign the extension this offseason, rather than chance waiting another full year for a slightly bigger payday.
He has never played more than 64 games in a year, and played just 51 in each of the last two, albeit shorter, seasons.
So for Embiid, the contract makes a ton of sense (and money).
For the Sixers, it also makes a great deal of sense.
Despite his injury history, Embiid has led Philadelphia to the top of the conference after years of toiling at the bottom.
This contract carries them to 2027, when Embiid will be 33 years old and likely starting his decline.
So the Sixers are getting their star’s best seasons, something they might not be able to say of their other star, Simmons.