In this salary cap era with limitations on years and max salaries, this is the riskiest contract we've seen.
As such, the 76ers are taking a massive gamble on Embiid after just 31 career games. But when he has on the floor during last season's encouraging run, his play on the floor was nothing short of remarkable. When he didn't, they were a low lottery team.
Embiid is truly a superstar, so even though he's struggled to stay healthy during his early this isn't surprising at all. "He does things on a court that remind me of, you know, somebody that's able to hear music and just play the song".
Those injury concerns have carried over into this season, as recovery from the meniscus surgery that ended Embiid's season in March has kept him from participating in any of Philadelphia's first three preseason games, though he is participating in five-on-five portions of practice. Do it now and protect yourself as much as possible.
Embiid, 23, has suited up in just 31 games since being picked third overal in the 2014 NBA Draft.
The real interesting aspect of this contract is the kind of injury provisions that have been put in place to assist the Sixers if Embiid were to miss a large portion of games. Embiid possesses the skill set of a generational talent. If Embiid is mostly healthy and plays 65 or more games a season for the next five years, this is a great deal (and the Sixers will become a very risky team).
The Sixers are hopeful Embiid will be in the lineup on opening night. If left unsigned, Embiid would have become a restricted free agent next summer. I'm really happy for him.
If he can stay healthy and effective, it will be well worth it for both parties. By signing him now with all those tricky contingencies attached, they minimize some of the risk and maintain good will for what they hope is a longtime partnership.
Even with partial guarantees, Philadelphia is paying out a hefty salary to a player who has battled back, foot and knee injuries dating back to his one year at Kansas. Team-building is a process. Sure, but he was under zero obligation to - case you forgot, they didn't draft Embiid, and the guy who did is long gone now - and you could argue that Joel's already practically earned nine digits in public goodwill with his delightful antics off the court the past few seasons alone, keeping the fanbase engaged during the darkest win-loss period in franchise history.
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